On Saturday, Jan. 18, the Queen officially put an end to the royal family's latest saga with an official statement that attempts to explain where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle now stand in relation to the rest of the British monarchy. So, is Prince Harry still a prince, and will the Duke and Duchess of Sussex still be known by their royal titles? Here's what the Queen's official statement says about the matter.
If you've been following along since the couple's unexpected Jan. 8 announcement that they will be "[carving] out a progressive new role within this institution," which includes becoming "financially independent" from the family, you know it's been a wild ride. While there were rumors that the Instagram post was a shock to the rest of the family and things were tense between the two parties, the Queen appeared to clear the air with a supportive message shared on Jan. 18.
In the official statement, which stated how "particularly proud" she was of Markle for acclimating so quickly, the Queen outlined what fans can expect as the couple "embark on the next chapter of their lives," which should begin this spring.
One thing that the Queen emphasized is because Markle and Prince Harry are no longer working members of the Royal Family, they will no longer formally represent her while at home and abroad. Because of this, they won't be participating in "official military appointments" and other Royal Duties, and they won't be paid with tax money for the ones that they do participate in.
In addition to the changes in their duties, the Queen stated that the Sussexes "will not use their HRH titles," which basically just means that they will no longer be referred to as His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness. However, like other non-working members of the royal family like Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, Prince Harry will still keep his "prince" title and the couple will still be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Similarly to the York princesses, the Sussexes will continue to run their own private patronages and can have their own careers if they like as non-working royals in order to finance their lives. For example, Princess Eugenie runs an art gallery in London as her job and doesn't receive any taxpayer money when she attends certain royal family events.
While some of the financial elements of their agreement are unclear, it does sound like Prince Harry and Markle's proposal will be taking a leaf from the York princesses' book. For example, they will be repaying the cost of refurbishing Frogmore Cottage (non-working royals are normally required to pay rent to the Queen), but the Queen will still provide publicly-funded security, as she did for Princess Eugenie's wedding.
Again, all of these changes should be going into effect sometime in the spring, so I'd keep an eye out for new announcements and clarification about the couple's evolving roles in the months ahead.