/Harry and Meghan will stop using royal highness titles and repay housing expenses, palace says

Harry and Meghan will stop using royal highness titles and repay housing expenses, palace says

‘Megxit’ is official. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will stop using their HRH titles as they are “no longer working members of the Royal Family,” Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.

“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the Queen said in a statement issued Saturday.

While the Sussexes will no longer formally represent the Queen, they will continue to “uphold the values,” of Her Majesty.

“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,” the Queen said in the statement.

They will step back from royal duties including military appointments and will no longer receive public funds for those duties.

They will also repay the Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of their home, Frogmore Cottage, which will continue to be their family home in the UK. The home was renovated with 2.4 million pounds ($3.06 million) of taxpayers’ money, royal accounts revealed last year.

Duchess of Cornwall, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge come onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be beloved members of the family, the Queen added in the statement. She noted that she recognizes the challenges the young family has faced as a result of “intense scrutiny.”

“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”

Saturday’s announcement followed Monday’s crisis summit at Sandringham with the queen, Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his older brother, Prince William, plus their top staffers from which Harry and Meghan emerged with the Queen’s  OK for change.

After the summit, the queen, who rarely issues statements about family matters, described the discussions on the future of “my grandson and his family” as “constructive.”

Since the couple’s bombshell announcement earlier this month, British tabloids have described the situation as “Megxit.”. And to some, it may have seemed surprising that the Queen has reacted in a calm manner. 

But some royal experts were unsurprised, such as Sally Bedell Smith, the acclaimed American biographer of the queen and Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana. 

“People tend to lose sight of the fact that behind the queen’s devotion to duty and reverence for tradition, she is a broad-minded and careful listener who is adept at solving problems,” Smith said. “The queen keeps a laser focus on preserving and modernizing the monarchy, but she is equally committed to ensuring that Harry is happy.”

While some questions, such as whether the couple would keep their titles as royal highnesses, whether they will pay for past renovations at Frogmore Cottage and whether they will still hold a residence at Frogmore Cottage at all were answered by Saturday’s statement, there are still some things that need to be sorted. 

Story developing…

Contributing: Maria Puente