Meghan Markle and Prince Harry issue lengthy statement sharing new details about their exit from royal life
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have issued a statement detailing their 'transition period' as they get ready to step back as senior members of the royal family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex issued the update on their website on Friday, and it including everything from their plan to launch a non-profit to the use of the word 'royal' in their plans.
"It is agreed that the commencement of the revised role of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will take effect Spring 2020 and undergo a 12 month review," the update began, before confirming that the couple will become privately-funded members of the royal family.
They will have permission to earn their own income and to pursue their own charitable interests.
"The preference of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex was to continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity, while not drawing on theSovereign Grant," they explained.
"While there is precedent for other titled members of the Royal Family to seek employment outside of the institution, for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a 12-month review period has been put in place," the update continued.
"Per the agreement The Duke and Duchess of Sussex understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties and not undertake representative duties on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen."
The update confirmed that Prince Harry's place in the line of succession will remain unchanged - and that while he and Meghan will no longer be able to carry out "official duties", they will be allowed to keep their patronages, including those that are classified as royal.
"In relation to the military, The Duke of Sussex will retain the rank of Major, and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander, and Squadron Leader. During this 12-month period of review, The Duke’s official military appointments will not be used as they are in the gift of the Sovereign. No new appointments will be made to fill these roles before the 12-month review of the new arrangements is completed," the statement read.
"While per the agreement, The Duke will not perform any official duties associated with these roles, given his dedication to the military community and ten years of service he will of course continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity. As founder of the Invictus Games, The Duke will proudly continue supporting the military community around the world through the Invictus Games Foundation and The Endeavour Fund."
The statement also confirmed the closure of their office in Buckingham Palace, adding that it had been a "saddening" process for the Duke and Duchess, as well as their loyal staff.
The update shared on their website also addressed Meghan and Harry's plans to start a non-profit - and that they will not use the word 'royal'.
"As shared in early January on this website, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not plan to start a ‘foundation’, but rather intend to develop a new way to effect change and complement the efforts made by so many excellent foundations globally," they said.
"The creation of this non-profit entity will be in addition to their cause driven work that they remain deeply committed to. While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any other iteration of ‘Royal.’"
The couple confirmed that the trademark applications - which "had been filed as protective measures and that reflected the same standard trademarking requests as done for The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge" - had been removed.
"While there is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘Royal’ overseas, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of the word ‘Royal’ in any territory (either within the UK or otherwise) when the transition occurs Spring 2020," the statement concluded.