The Duke and Duchess of Sussex lost their titles and patronages yesterday as Buckingham Palace announced the couple will no longer serve as working royals. Alastair Bruce, Sky’s royal correspondent, suggested Meghan and Harry “twinning” their independent careers with their royal status forced the Palace’s hand.
Mr Bruce suggested the Duke and Duchess’ career moves were the nail in the coffin for their status as royals.
He said: “With enterprising zeal, they have secured a career together in the United States that draws on their own characters and talents, which looks like it will bring wealth – more than sufficient for their growing family.
“But twinning this commercial lifestyle with the privileges granted by the UK for public service crossed the palace’s line.
“Free of this public duty, they still retain titles (he is Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel) intended for their public service to the Crown.”
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Writing for Sky News, Mr Bruce also pointed out Harry and Archie Harrison remain in the line of succession.
The correspondent added: “These matters may need to be addressed in slow time, however for now Harry and Meghan remain much-loved members of the Queen’s family but out of the working Royal Family.
“All patronages and formal appointments in the armed forces are dissolved and they are free to shape their chosen lives.
“It is a significant moment for Harry and Meghan but, after a thousand years of navigation through the vicissitudes of history, it is not so significant for the Crown.”
Last year, Meghan and Harry were granted a 12-month review period for their status after stepping down from full-time royal life.
Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Friday Meghan and Harry had relinquished their patronages.
They said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
“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.
“The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.
“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
A spokesperson for the Sussex royals then hit back at the statement, taking issue with the references to “public service”.
They said: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to organisations they have represented regardless of official role.
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
Harry has left his roles as patron of the Rugby Football Union and Rugby Football League, as well as his three military titles.
Sources close to the Duke said to the Telegraph he is “disappointed” to lose the military titles.
Another royal source said to the outlet last week: “The royal appointments and patronages were never in their gift.
“All they have done is express their commitment to them. There is no question that if it was up to them, they would keep them.”