What the splitting of royal households means for Meghan, Prince Harry, Kate, and Prince William
There are changes in store for the royal family. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are splitting from Prince William and Kate Middleton, breaking up their joint “court” at Kensington Palace by creating two separate offices, the palace announced Thursday, March 14th. Meghan and Harry’s office will be moving out of Kensington Palace and into Buckingham Palace, where the Queen resides, while William and Kate’s office will remain in Kensington Palace, where they live with their three children. A family friend says of the royal brothers,
“The time has come,” the friend adds. “They are in their 30s and can’t be treated as young unmarried men any more. Now, they are spreading their wings. William more than Harry as he has his three children—but Harry is now starting his own—and it is time to move on.” The move is a natural progression for the royal family, as William will one day become the Prince of Wales—and all that entails as heir to his father, Prince Charles—so William will have very different responsibilities from his younger brother.
While it made sense for Prince William and Prince Harry to share one office when they were single men with limited public engagements, their marriages to Kate and Meghan added another element. “The arrival of Meghan has changed the dynamic of the relationship in a fairly significant way,” royals author Sally Bedell Smith previously told PEOPLE of the split. “It is inevitable and practical because it gives Harry and Meghan some freedom to build up their own collection of interests and charities.” She added, “Meghan has very strong views on what she is interested in and that may be what Harry shares, but not what William and Kate share.” It’s now practical for each family to have its own staff.
Royals author Robert Lacey says, “In this generation there are only two of them, and it makes sense for them to go their separate ways and create separate identities. Looking to the future, their children will proliferate around those two centers.”
Meghan and Harry will leave Kensington Palace’s two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage, where they have lived since their engagement, this spring for their new home in Windsor. The couple’s official residence will be at Frogmore Cottage, and they won’t have any rooms at the palace. Harry and Meghan’s new household will be predominantly supported by the Queen and Prince Charles. The Queen uses her own money, from the Duchy of Lancaster, to fund the offices of working members of the royal family. They will also have some money from Charles, via the Duchy of Cornwall, and some money, from the Sovereign Grant, to pay for the communications, headed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisor Sara Latham. A private secretary is being recruited, but it’s unknown how many more staffers they will have under the private secretary and Latham.
In an update from Kensington Palace, it was announced that Jason Knauf has been appointed as senior adviser to William and Kate. His responsibilities will include advising the royal couple on their charitable initiatives—including work on the environment, mental health, and early childhood—and supporting a review of the charitable structures that underpin their work. Christian Jones has been appointed as their Communications Secretary.
She continued, “They are going to be sharing in this diffusion of activities on behalf of the Queen.” But will we still see the royal foursome together? Absolutely. There are a number of events, such as the annual Trooping the Colour and Commonwealth Day celebrations, where we’re sure to see William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan all attend.