How the royal family will change now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are giving up their titles
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are giving up their roles as senior royals, and their decision is set to change the dynamic of the royal family as we know it. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced the news earlier this month, writing on Instagram that they “intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent.”
Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that the couple will stop using their HRH titles and will give up all royal duties starting in the Spring of 2020. Royal experts predicted this outcome months ago, after the couple spoke about their struggles with royal life in emotional interviews for their royal-tour documentary.
For the first time, Markle addressed how the media scrutiny had affected her mental health, saying “not many people have asked if I’m OK.” At the same time, Harry said he “will not be bullied into playing a game that killed my mum.”
“There’s a couple here who are saying that the intense media scrutiny of their lives is making them question whether they want to continue to be royals, effectively,” Camilla Tominey, a royal correspondent, said on the UK breakfast show “This Morning” when the documentary aired.
Now that the couple are no longer working royals, it’s worth looking at how this will change not only their lives but the dynamic of the family. Their royal duties will likely be passed to other members of the family .The royal family carries out more than 2,000 official engagements throughout the UK and the world every year, according to its official website.
As senior royals, Harry and Markle, along with Prince William and Kate Middleton, were responsible for many of these. In October, for instance, they carried out a 10-day tour of Africa on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, and they were individually responsible for the events of many patronages and organizations.
When it comes to the charities they support, each senior royal has a focus. Kate Middleton’s is early childhood development, while Prince William’s is mental health. For Harry it’s environmental causes, and for Markle it’s gender equality.
Speaking at a Sentebale charity dinner on Sunday, the Duke of Sussex said “our hope was to continue serving the Queen,” however they were told they wouldn’t be able to partake in royal duties without relying on public funds.Royal expert Joe Little previously told Insider that the couple’s patronages would be passed on to other working members of the family if they were to resign.
“This is uncharted territory, but if they were to withdraw from public life, then the organizations with which they are associated in various capacities would be reallocated to other members of the royal family,” Little, the managing editor of Majesty magazine, told Insider before the news was announced.The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently announced plans to start their own charity, Sussex Royal, after splitting from Middleton and William’s Royal Foundation in 2019.
The charity isn’t expected to officially start operating until later this year. But exactly how it will operate — and whether it will receive any funding from the royal family — remains to be seen.Richard Fitzwilliams, a royal commentator, recently told Insider that the couple were “both extremely unhappy in conventional royal roles.”
Harry has echoed that, saying in 2017 that no one in the royal family actually wanted to be king or queen.“We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy,” he told Newsweek. “We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people.”
He added: “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”Considering this is something the prince has been thinking about for a long time, perhaps he never truly intended to operate the charity on a royal basis.
Unlike Archie, their next child will not be a royal baby Harry and Markle spent $3 million in taxpayer money renovating their new home, Frogmore Cottage, just months before quitting their roles as senior royals.The couple will no longer receive funds like this from the Queen’s Sovereign Grant, which goes toward supporting her and those who carry out royal duties on her behalf.
However, they said they intend to keep Frogmore Cottage as their “UK family home.” They also said they will pay back the Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment.They have not gone into detail on how they will earn their money; however, they are far from the first royals to do so.
For instance, the Queen’s granddaughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, chose to pursue professional careers rather than work as full-time members of the royal family. Both princesses attend some royal events, including royal weddings, but they do not carry out duties on behalf of the Queen.
When Archie was born, Harry and Markle were incredibly secretive, avoiding the traditional postdelivery photo call on the hospital steps and revealing the hospital their son was born in only when his birth certificate was released.Despite this — and the fact he wasn’t given a title — Archie was estimated to have boosted the UK economy by £1.25 billion.
Now that the couple do not have this same sense of responsibility toward the British taxpayer, they may refrain from publicly disclosing details such as their next child’s name.It’s difficult to imagine the impact a “nonroyal baby” would have on the economy if the public were never to see a glimpse of him or her.
Archie attended his first royal engagement at five months old, during his parents’ tour of Africa, where he was introduced to Archbishop Desmond Tutu.Archie’s future brother or sister, on the other hand, may not attend important historical engagements, such as the Queen’s birthday parade.
Other royal children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — have attended the parade in recent years, and Harry and Markle attend every year.
However, if the couple reside in Canada full time, as rumored, this will be made especially difficult.The Queen confirmed the family will “spend time in Canada and the UK” as part of a transition period into their new lives.
On the other hand, it’s possible the child may be included in some royal traditions or events. The couple said in their statement that they wanted to raise Archie “with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter.”