It’s only nearing the end of February and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had quite the year.
Back in January, the royal couple announced that “after many months of reflection” they had chosen to “become financially dependent” and split their time between the UK and North America.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family,” an official statement for the couple read.
Then, Queen Elizabeth agreed to a “period of transition” for the pair after discussions on the future of “my grandson and his family”.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
Under an agreement reached by all four royal households, Harry and Meghan would still continue to support their private patronages, however, they also agreed to repay the £2.4million ($4.5 million AUD) of taxpayers’ money spent on renovating their UK home, Frogmore Cottage.
In another statement by the palace following their stunning announcement, it was revealed that “the Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.”
Now, new details have been revealed on the exact timeline of when this will all play out.
A spokesperson for the couple confirmed to the British Press Asssociation that Harry and Meghan will officially step down from their royal duties and begin their new life on March 31, 2020.
At the time of publication, they will still carry out six more royal engagements, Prince Harry’s attendance at the Invictus Games on February 28 and the couple returning to London for Commonwealth Day celebrations on March 9.
Any events after March 31, will not be on behalf of the Queen, but as representatives of their UK foundation.
New from Buckingham Palace (and a few confirmations):
Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s Spring transition period will take effect on March 31. “The Royal Family and Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties,” says source.
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) February 19, 2020
While the use of their “Sussex Royal” name is still in question — discussions around their branding still ongoing (according to Vanity Fair) —, Harry is said to retain some of his military titles including major, lieutenant commander, and squadron leader; and both Harry and Meghan will continue to work on their existing patronages, with their own nonprofit organisation to launch later this year.
According to the BBC, the palace will review Harry and Meghan’s arrangement after one year.