Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to lose HRH title usage as they step back from royal duties

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      Further details of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving their roles as working members of the Royal Family have been revealed.

      Buckingham Palace issued a statement today (January 18) that under the new arrangement, the couple is required to step back from royal duties, including official military appointments.

      The palace also stated that the Duke and Duchess will stop receiving public funds for royal duties. They intend to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the 2.4 million pound renovations at Frogmore Cottage. However, they will keep Frogmore Cottage as their U.K. family home and was a gift from the Queen.

      In addition, they will be able to retain private patronages and associations with the Queen’s blessing.

      The Sussexes will no longer use their HRH (or royal highness) titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. Accordingly, they also cannot formally represent the Queen.

      However, Prince Harry will remain a prince and they will retain their titles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. (For instance, Sarah Ferguson has retained the title of Duchess of York after she divorced Prince Andrew, Duke of York, but she is unable to use the title of "Her Royal Highness".)

      Although the palace stated that it does not comment on security detail, it added that they are “well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security”.

      The question of who will pay for security for the couple has been an issue of contention and uncertainty in Canada as security experts have previously stated that Canadian taxpayers would be have to pay for these expenses.

      This new model of operation will take effect in spring, but a specific date was not announced.

      The couple made the bombshell announcement that they would be stepping back from their roles as senior royals after spending a winter vacation in British Columbia where they were spotted on Vancouver Island.

      Meghan Markle has since been seen in Vancouver on January 14 visiting two gender-based charity organizations devoted to social causes: Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and Justice for Girls.

      The Queen also issued a statement today about the changes:

      Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

      Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

      I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

      I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. 

      It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook