Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have formally split from Britain’s royal family after informing Queen Elizabeth II that they have absolutely no intention of returning from their new lives in the United States.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sensationally announced last year that they would be bringing an end to their lives as working royals. Following a year-long review of the new arrangement, and after recent discussions among the family members, Harry and Meghan have told the queen that they believe their decision to quit was the right call.
Buckingham Palace published a statement on Friday morning, saying that the couple has “confirmed to Her Majesty the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family” and that, while the remaining royals are “saddened by their decision,” Harry and Meghan will always “remain much loved members of the family.”
Those warm words were followed up by confirmation that the couple will be stripped of their “honorary military appointments and royal patronages,” which will be given to loyal family members.
Harry and Meghan, who now live in California, reportedly decided to give an interview to their friend Oprah Winfrey after becoming aware that they were going to be stripped of all their remaining royal links. The interview, organized by Meghan, is set to air on CBS on March 7.
The couple announced last week that they’re expecting another child.
Shortly after the Buckingham Palace statement was published, a spokesperson for the couple said, “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”