The Queen has announced that Prince Harry and his wife, the former Meghan Markle, will not use their HRH titles. The other big news out of the new statement from the Royal Family: Harry and Meghan will repay sovereign grant money used to renovate Frogmore Cottage, their residence owned by the Queen’s estate.
One detail left unclear: Whether taxpayers will have to pay for the couple’s security.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” the Royal Family’s statement, released on January 18, 2020, says.
“As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.”
The Queen had foreshadowed the loss of titles by calling the Sussexes by their first names in a previous statement. The new statement came after the Queen wanted a quick resolution to the couple’s dramatic announcement that they were stepping back from the Royal Family in order to pursue financial independence.
Here’s what you need to know:
The Statement Says the Sussexes ‘Will not Use Their HRH Titles’
Here is the rest of the statement, which was released on the Royal Family’s website.
“With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.
The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.
Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.
This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020.”
An earlier statement from the Queen had said: “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. Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”
That statement continued: “It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
Prince Harry & Meghan Unilaterally Declared They Were Stepping Back as Senior Royals on a Flashy New Website
In their statement, which was said to have shocked, disappointed, and angered members of the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan demanded taxpayer-funded security. “The provision of armed security by The Metropolitan Police is mandated by the Home Office, a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government, responsible for security and law & order,” they wrote. “As stated on gov.uk, ‘No breakdown of security costs is available as disclosure of such information could compromise the integrity of these arrangements and affect the security of the individuals protected. It is long established policy not to comment upon the protective security arrangements and their related costs for members of the Royal Family or their residences.’”
The Sun reported that Scotland Yard currently provides security to the tune of £600,000 a year (almost $780,000) but that this could escalate if they spend a lot of time overseas. Will Canada be on the hook for some of that bill?
The couple’s home, refurbished with public money (£4.5 million or $5.8 million in public funds), is owned by the Crown Estate, but Meghan and Harry demanded on their website the right to stay in it – when they’re in the UK. This is a historic property. Some members of the public think the couple should have to pay rent or pay back the cost of refurbishments.
On their website, the couple stated as a fact that they would continue to use Frogmore Cottage. They wrote, “Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage – with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen – as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom.”
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” Meghan and Harry, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, wrote.
On a separate tab titled “funding,” the couple wrote, “In 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have made the choice to transition into a new working model. As they step back as senior members of the Royal Family and no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, they will become members of the Royal Family with financial independence which is something they look forward to.”