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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry will not be returning as working members of the royal family, palace says

Photo courtesy of Karwai Tang/WireImage

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex held conversations with Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family

Posted: Feb 19, 2021 10:37 AM

Fox News- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will not be returning as working members of the British royal family, the palace has confirmed.

Buckingham Palace on Friday confirmed the news in a statement on Friday.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family," the statement begins.

"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service," the statement continued. "While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."

The palace said Harry’s appointment as captain general of the Royal Marines and titles with other military groups would revert to the queen before being distributed to other members of the family.

Harry, who served in the British army for a decade and has a close bond with the military, founded the Invictus Games competition for wounded troops.

The decision comes one year after Meghan and Harry announced their plan to step back as senior members of the royal family. The couple, who recently announced they are expecting their second child together, at the time agreed to a 12-month review of the decision.

It was made after the pair held conversations with members of the royal family.

According to the palace, the military, Commonwealth and charitable associations that will now revert to Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, include the Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football League, The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In their January 2020 announcement of stepping back as senior members of the royal family, Meghan and Harry discussed their intentions of working independently, splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America.

At the time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said their decision came "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," the couple shared on Instagram. "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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.

"We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages," they continued. "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."

The couple added they would continue to work with the reigning monarch, 94, as well as Harry’s father Prince Charles, as well as the 36-year-old’s older brother, Prince William.

"We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."

Markle, 39, and Harry, 36, welcomed a son named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May 2019. The baby’s arrival came a year after the couple tied the knot in a televised royal ceremony in May 2018.

Earlier this week, the couple announced the exciting news of baby No. 2.

"We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child," a spokesperson for the couple told Fox News.

They recently announced that they will speak to Oprah Winfrey in a TV special to be broadcast next month.

A spokesperson for the couple said in a statement that "as evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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