Meghan Markle and Harry: Expert discusses ‘impact’ on royals
The Queen has stripped Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of their royal patronages and military appointments after the couple told the Palace they would not be returning as working members of The Firm. Harry will now lose all his military titles, including his beloved honour of being Captain General of the Royal Marines. The Duke of Sussex has also been forced to relinquish his role as Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving.
The 36-year-old served a decade in the Armed Forces and conducted two tours of Afghanistan.
The Queen now has the tough decision to redistribute the roles, but it is understood William will not be considered amid fears of reigniting a rift between the two brothers.
Harry admitted his relationship with William had deteriorated in an ITV documentary at the end of 2019, where he said they were “on different paths at the moment”.
Ahead of the so-called Megxit deal last March, Prince William reportedly refused to attend a family lunch with Harry.
Prince William could miss out on taking over key royal titles
Prince Harry has lost his military titles
The Duke of Cambridge is widely reported to have also had prior reservations about Harry’s relationship with Meghan when the couple started dating in 2016.
A source told : “Who takes over from Harry is a thorny issue in the family so giving the Queen the final say is the right thing to do.”
Today, a video was released of Prince William paying tribute to military personnel for helping the NHS to distribute the coronavirus vaccine.
More than 5,000 members of the Armed Forces have been drafted in to help deploy the jab across the UK and overseas territories.
Prince Harry served a decade in the Armed Forces
William, who served as an RAF pilot, spoke with a group of five military staff, and said: “I really appreciate all the hard work you guys are doing at the moment. It’s making a huge difference.”
The Queen, 94, is set to make a decision on who will inherit the military roles and royal patronages over the summer.
Her daughter, Princess Anne, is thought to be the frontrunner to take over as head of the Royal Marines.
The Princess Royal would become the first female to hold the position and take her number of honorary titles to 34.
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The Queen will redistribute the roles to working members of the Royal Family
Another royal source added: “Ultimately, it’s the Queen’s decision. The posts are in her gift.”
Harry will also lose his role as president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League.
Meghan has also been stripped of patronages for the Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities as well as her role as vice-president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
The shock decision by the Palace comes weeks before the so-called Megxit review was set to take place.
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are living in the US
Harry had been due to meet with the Queen next month to discuss their future positions.
Earlier this week, it emerged the couple have agreed to conduct a tell-all interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey.
The interview is set to be aired on March 7 and is thought to have accelerated discussions between the Sussexes and Buckingham Palace.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace 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.
Prince Harry remains sixth-in-line to the throne
“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 Harry and Meghan 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 the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.
“We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”