The Duke and Duchess are no longer "royal highnesses"—here's what that means.

Olivia Harvey
Feb 19, 2021 @ 10:22 am
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage, Getty Images

In the royal family, one day you're in and the next day you're out. After a 12-month-long review of their royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially been nixed as members of the royal family by Queen Elizabeth II, herself. So, what exactly that does that mean?

From here on out, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (yes, they'll keep that title—and Harry is still sixth in line to the throne), will return their honorary military appointments and royal patronages back to the royal family and no longer do public service work on behalf of Buckingham Palace.

Furthermore, according to ABC News, Harry's appointment as captain general of the Royal Marines and other military titles have now been reverted to Queen Elizabeth and will be redistributed to other family members. The Duke of Sussex will also give up his Rugby Football Union, Rugby Football League, and London Marathon Charitable Trust patronages. Meghan will relinquish her role as patron of Britain's National Theater and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service," a statement from Buckingham Palace reads. "While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."

When Meghan and Harry announced in January 2020 that they would be stepping back from the family, they forfeited the right to the title "royal highness" and public funding for any of their projects was cut off.

Their decision to leave their royal life behind was mainly a response to the bullying Meghan experienced at the hands of the British press, which she recently called "almost unsurvivable." The couple, who married in 2018, has since moved to Santa Barbara, California, with their son Archie, and they are expecting another baby later this year.

However, Meghan and Harry are not about to leave their lives of public service behind. They are both dedicated to multiple charities and have also made deals with Netflix and Spotify to produce feel-good content for the masses. Thank goodness.