LONDON – – Goodbye, your royal highnesses. Hello, life as – almost – ordinary civilians.
Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, are quitting as working royals and will no longer use the titles “royal highness” or receive public funds for their work under a deal announced Saturday by Buckingham Palace.
Releasing details of the dramatic split, triggered by the couple’s unhappiness with life under media scrutiny in the royal fishbowl, the palace said Harry and Meghan will cease to be working members of royal family when the new arrangements take effect within months, in the “spring of 2020”.
The couple will no longer use the prestigious titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness, but they are not being stripped of them.
They will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan , Duchess of Sussex. Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line to the British throne.
The agreement also calls for Meghan and Harry to repay 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) in taxpayers’ money that was spent renovating a house for them near Windsor Castle, Frogmore Cottage. The use of public funds to ready their home has raised ire in the British press.
The announcement came after days of talks among royal courtiers sparked by Meghan and Harry’s announcement last week that they wanted to step down as senior royals and live part-time somewhere in Canada.
The couple’s departure is a wrench for the royal family, but Queen Elizabeth II had warm words for them in a statement Saturday.
The 93-year-old queen said she was pleased that “together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family”.
“I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life” Elizabeth said.
“It is my hole family’s hope today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life”, she added.
Despite the queen’s kind words, the new arrangement will represent an almost complete break from life as working royals, especially for Harry. As a devoted Army veteran and servant to the crown, the price carried out dozens of royal engagement.
It is not yet clear whether Harry and Meghan will continue to receive financial support from Harry’s father, Prince Charles, who used revenue from the Duchy of Cornwall to help fund his activities and those of his wife and sons.
The duchy, chartered in 1337, produced more than 20 million pounds in revenue last year. It is widely regarded as private money, not public funds, so Charles may opt to keep details of its disbursal private.
While he and Meghan will no longer represent the queen, the palace said they would “continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty” while carrying out their private charitable works.
The withdrawal of Harry from royal engagements will increase the demands on his brother, Prince William, and William’s wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Bukingham Palace did not disclose who will pay for the couple’s security going forward. It currently is taxpayer-funded and carried out primarily by a special unit of the Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard.
“There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security”, it said.
Harry and Meghan have grown increasingly uncomfortable with constant media scrutiny since the birth in May of their son, Archie. They married in 2018 in a ceremony that drew a worldwide TV audience.
Meghan joined the royal family after a successful acting career and spoke enthusiastically about the chance to travel throughout Britain and learn about her new home, but disillusionment set in fairly quickly.
She launched legal action against a newspaper in October for publishing a letter she wrote to her father. Harry has complained bitterly of racist undertones some media coverage of his wife, who is biracial.
There has also been a breach in the longtime close relationship between Harry and William, a future king, over issues that have not been made public.
The couple’s desire to separate from the rest of the family had been the subject of media speculation for months. But they angered senior royals by revealing their plans on Instagram and a new website without advance clearance from the queen or palace officials.
Elizabeth summoned Harry, William, and Charles, to an unusual crisis meeting at her rural retreat in eastern England in an effort to find common ground.
The result was Saturday’s agreement, which is different from Harry and Meghan’s initial proposal that they planned to combine a new, financially independent life with a reduced set of royal duties.
TIBILISI – Georgia on Wednesday reported the first case of coronavirus in the country. Health minister Ekaterine Tikaradze said an infected Georgian citizen, who was travelling from Iran, crossed the border from neighboring Azaerbaijan. ‘He was immediately taken to hospital from the border check-point’, she said. Tikaradze said the infected man, who traveled by mini-bus … Continue reading CORONAVIRUS ALERT | Georgia Reports First Coronavirus Case In The Country→
DUBAI – – Bahrain discover seven new cases of coronavirus, raising the number to 33, the ministry of health reported on Twitter on Wednesday. The ministry added most of the newly discovered cases came from Iran, and did not enter the Kingdom of Bahrain.
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – – Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, met in Ryiadh Wednesday with President Abdelmajid Tebboune of the People’s Democratic Republic of Alergia, currently on a state visit to the Kingdom, at his guest residence. During the … Continue reading SAUDI ARABIA | Saudi Crown Prince Meets With President Of Algeria→
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, met in Riyadh today with President Mohamed Oul Ghazouani of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, currently on a visit to the Kingdom, at his guest residence. During the meeting, they reviewed the aspects of Saudi-Mauritanian … Continue reading SAUDI ARABIA | Saudi Crown Prince Meets With Mauritanian President→
RIYADH | SAUDI ARABIA – Transforming the Saudi General Investment Authority (SAGIA) into an independent ministry represents a fundamental shift in the national economy. Such a move would diversify production and attract qualitative investments, according to an economist and member of the Saudi Shura Council. Saudi Arabia announced Tuesday that SAGIA will become the Ministry … Continue reading SAUDI ARABIA | SAGIA To Become An Independent Ministry→
SPORT | Sports Events Hit By The Coronavirus Epidemic BUCHAREST | ROMANIA – The following is a list of international sports events hit by the outbreak of the new coronavirus. ATHLETICS The World Athletics Indoor Championships, scheduled for Nanjing from March 13-15, were postponed until next year. World Athletics is working with organizers, were postponed … Continue reading SPORT | Sports Events Hit By The Coronavirus Epidemic→
DUBAI – Kuwait’s health ministry said on Twitter on Wednesday that the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the country had risen to 25 after 13 more cases were confirmed. The ministry also said in a statement that the new cases were related to people traveling to Iran.
ATHENS | GREECE – Greece has confirmed its first coronavirus case, the health ministry said on Wednesday. The patient was a 38-year-old Greek woman who had traveled from an area of northern Italy, said Sotitis Tsiodras, a representative of the Ministry of Health.