Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will give up their royal titles and eschew some state funding in a deal brokered to end a crisis that broke out after the couple announced they would step back from the royal family.
Earlier this month, in a carefully worded Instagram post and curated new website, Harry and Meghan announced their intention to exit the royal family. In it, they made clear what they wanted: to work to become financially independent, while continuing to support the Queen.
The question is now: did they get what they had hoped for?
Is this the exit the Sussexes had in mind?
The Sussexes had pitched for a hybrid role, where they would be allowed to pursue personal income, but also continue representing the Queen. But it appears they were offered two choices by the Palace – in or out. They chose out.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” said Harry in a Sunday night speech at a charity dinner.
So what’s the deal with their royal titles?
Meghan received the title Her Royal Highness (HRH) The Duchess of Sussex upon marriage in May 2018. Harry’s full title was His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel.
But the couple will no longer use the titles His and Her Royal Highness after announcing they would step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. This is quite unprecedented. After her divorce from Prince Charles, Harry’s mother Diana had her “HRH” title taken away, and she was given the courtesy title of “Diana, Princess of Wales.”
Similarly, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York was also stripped of her HRH title after her divorce from Prince Andrew.
But the situation for Harry and Meghan is different – they have chosen, or been asked, not to use these titles because they no longer represent the Queen.
What will happen to Harry’s military appointments?
Harry served in the British Army from 2011-15 and had a number of other military appointments.
However he will step back from these appointments as part of the deal with the Queen, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace released Saturday.
As a result Harry will now only be able to wear the uniforms he served in, but not those of his other military associations.
What does it mean for the Sussex brand?
This decision is really about Harry and Meghan’s extraction from royal life, but the next question is what will happen to the Sussex Royal brand.
The role, outlined on Harry and Meghan’s Sussex Royal website following the couple’s first announcement, doesn’t currently align with the agreement announced by the Palace on Saturday. That whole new brand of Sussex Royal will probably have to be reworked, and we are waiting to see what that will look like.
When does the new arrangement take effect? How long will it last?
The changes will take effect in the spring, when Harry and Meghan will stop using the titles “HRH.” The situation will then be reviewed a year later, but in the meantime Harry can expect a lot of media scrutiny.
So what will they do now?
This latest announcement doesn’t mean that the couple will no longer move in Royal circles – we’ll still see them at functions that look a lot like Royal events.
Harry and Meghan are also keeping all of their private causes and patronages – including Invictus – and the various patronages they hold separate to their association with the Queen. But the couple will have to find a way of tying this together with bringing in an income.
Inside the Royal family
We will probably see them undertaking commercial work, possibly media work, but we’ll have to wait and see who that will be with, or how that will be shaped. We know that the couple haven’t signed any commercial deals yet.
Harry and Meghan will have to bring in quite a substantial income to keep up with their current lifestyles – while the Prince of Wales will be financing them through his private estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, this is expected to be in the low millions and may not be permanent.
What does it mean for other royals?
Harry and Meghan’s exit from the royal family is quite unprecedented, and could become a blueprint for other senior members of the family who want out – for example, William’s children, if they felt the same way as Harry as adults.
There are also questions that need to be answered about how Harry’s move will affect Charles and William. It remains unclear whether Harry’s royal duties will be dispersed between Charles and William, or whether Harry’s departure will effectively reduce the amount of work that the royal family is doing.
What was left unsaid in the announcement?
The announcement didn’t address what will now happen to the Sussex Royal brand, and it didn’t give further details about what the security arrangements will look like for the couple in Canada.
Who is expected to pay for security costs?
In the statement released Saturday, Buckingham Palace said it would not comment on the details of security arrangements.
“There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security,” it said.
Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau told a Canadian television station Monday that: “…there are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have and these are things that we are obviously supportive of their reflections, but have responsibilities in that as well.”
Trudeau added: “That is part of the reflection that needs to be had and there are discussions going on.”
What will their life look like now – splitting time between North America and UK?
The couple will be spending most of their time in North America.
But they can only spend a certain amount of time in Canada without citizenship – UK and American citizens can spend up to 6 months in the country as a visitor – so it remains to be seen how much time the young family will also spend in the United States.
They will still maintain their Frogmore Cottage residence on Windsor Estate, west of London – but will have to pay rent for it.
They will also return the Sovereign Grant funds they recently spent to renovate the residence – £2.4 million (about $3 million) of British taxpayers’ money – the palace said in a statement.
Works included the removal of a chimney, re-finishing the roof, new staircases, fireplace installations and a new “floating” wooden floor. Expenses related to fixtures, furnishings and fittings were funded privately by the couple.
CNN’s Stephanie Halasz and Jack Guy contributed to this report.