It's official: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are no longer working members of the royal family. The couple slowly distanced themselves from their royal responsibilities over the past year, but finally ditched being royals altogether on Feb. 19. The Queen confirmed Meghan and Harry officially quit being senior royals via an official statement from Buckingham Palace.
Meghan and Harry took an initial step back from their royal duties in January 2020, explaining they would no longer be financially dependent on the British Monarchy. "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," they said at the time.
The couple has since relocated to Santa Barbara, California, where they are raising their son Archie, and recently announced they're expecting their second child. As they continue to grow their family, they are taking another step back from the crown.
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 said. "While all are saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family," the statement concluded. While Meghan and Harry are no longer working royals, they will retain their royal titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Following the announcement, a spokesman for the couple shared a statement.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex "remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world" and have "offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role," the spokesman said. "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
The announcement doesn't exactly come as a surprise. Meghan and Harry have solidified their life in California, taking on a number of new business endeavors and purchasing their first home. The couple signed a podcast deal with Spotify in December, and have also signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix.
The royal lifestyle may not have been for Meghan and Harry, but they're loving life across the pond.