The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will give up using their His and Her Royal Highness titles and return £2.4m to the taxpayer to cover the cost of refurbishing their Windsor home as they leave their roles as senior members of the royal family.
The Queen said in a statement that this “constructive and supportive way forward” would allow the Sussexes “to start building a happy and peaceful new life”. In a rebuff to critics of her granddaughter-in-law, the Queen added that she was “particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family”.
In new arrangements that will take effect from an unspecified date in the spring, the Sussexes will “step back” from royal duties and Harry will not conduct any further official military appointments.
Can they still brand themselves Sussex Royal?
The new sussexroyal.com website was launched last week. A personal message posted on Saturday suggests some refining. It reads: “In line with the statement by Her Majesty the Queen, information on the roles and work of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be updated on this website in due course.”
It had referred to “their Royal Highnesses”. But Harry and Meghan have agreed not to use their HRH titles even though they technically retain them.
Now no longer working members of the royal family, who will no longer formally represent the Queen, it remains to be seen if they will retain the Sussex Royal brand name and monogram of crown above an entwined H&M. They have already trademarked Sussex Royal for use for up to 100 items.
How will they be funded?
The couple will give up the sovereign grant they receive from the public purse and say they want to become “financially independent”. In the short term at least, while they work towards this, they will continue to be privately financially supported by the Prince of Wales.
They will also repay the £2.4m in public money used to refurbish Frogmore Cottage, the Windsor mansion they moved into nine months ago.
What does it mean for the remaining royals?
The royal family has now lost four senior working royals. The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, retired in 2017. The Duke of York stepped down from royal duties in November following his disastrous Newsnight interview about his relationship with the financier and convicted child sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Now the Sussexes’ star power is also gone.
It means extra workload for remaining core royals. All indications are that Prince Charles wanted a slimmed down monarchy, but clearly thought up until now Harry and Meghan would be part of it.
The spotlight on the Sussexes will not diminish, regardless of their geographical location. But requiring them not to use their HRH styles, and not allowing them to carry out duties on behalf of the Queen, prevents any official rival royal court.
The blueprint has implications for young royals in future, including Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, the Cambridge’s youngest two children.
Who will foot their security costs?
Buckingham Palace does not comment on security matters. But it did say: “There are well-established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security.”
Until now, the Sussexes have received armed personal protection from the Metropolitan police at taxpayers’ expense. But they are no longer working royals, which may influence what taxpayer-funded security they are entitled to.
Harry and Meghan intend to live mainly in Canada. This would have financial implications for any security provided by the Met. Any property they reside in would also require advanced security measures.
If British taxpayers are no longer required to pay, one option is for Canadian taxpayers to bear the burden. This is not likely to go down well. Another is for the couple to pay for themselves, through money provided by the Prince of Wales.