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Prince Harry, Meghan will no longer use 'royal highness' titles
TORONTO -- Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use their 'royal highness' titles or receive public funds for royal duties, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.
As part of the new arrangement, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will step back from royal duties, including official military appointment. They will no longer formally represent the Queen.
Prince Harry and Meghan have also agreed to repay the $4 million (2.4 million pounds) Sovereign Grant expenditure for the renovations of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their family home in the U.K.
In a statement released Saturday, the Queen wished the couple well on their bid for a more independent life.
“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family,” read the statement.
“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
The announcement comes after a week of uncertainty regarding Prince Harry and Meghan’s future after a bombshell announcement that indicated they would reduce their royal workload and become “financially independent.”
Earlier this week, the Queen was joined by the Prince of Wales and his two sons Princes William and Harry at the Royal’s Sandringham country estate for a so-called “crisis summit” regarding the issue.
CTV’s royal commentator Richard Berthelsen says that although Prince Harry and Meghan’s initial announcement came as a shock, the Queen and her family were aware of the couple’s growing unhappiness.
“Clearly there’s been awareness in the family of a degree of unhappiness. I think the shock was the making of the announcement unilaterally and they had to work out these details,” he said during an interview with CTV News Channel Saturday.
What remains to be seen is how Prince Harry and Meghan will be able to use the Sussex Royal Trademark, says Berthelsen.
“The Sussex Royal Trademark is trading on their royal status – they are no longer going to have that,” he said.
“I think the palace may have something to say about that, and how much they can trade on that is going to be a very big issue.”
He also suggests that the couple’s royal resignation will leave a “massive labour shortage” within the royal family to perform the types of duties the public is used to seeing, especially within the Commonwealth.
Prince Harry and Meghan are expected to split their time between Canada and the U.K.
Though it’s unclear where in Canada the couple will live, the question of who will provide their security has become top of mind for some Canadian taxpayers.
Buckingham Palace said it does not comment on the details of security arrangements, noting, “There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.”