Harry and Meghan will not return to royal duties, Buckingham Palace says | CBC News

Buckingham Palace confirmed Friday that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will not be returning to royal duties, and Harry will give up his honorary military titles.

When Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in early 2020, it was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year.

The palace said in a statement “that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.”

It said Harry’s appointment as captain general of the Royal Marines and with other military groups would revert to Queen Elizabeth II before being distributed to other members of the family.

Prince Harry sits with then-girlfriend Meghan Markle to watch a wheelchair tennis event during the Invictus Games in Toronto on Sept. 25, 2017. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Harry, 36, served in the British army for a decade, including on the front line in Afghanistan and retains a close bond with the military. He founded the Invictus Games for wounded armed services personnel and veterans, first held in 2014 at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

He will also have to relinquish positions as patron of the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League and the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

Meghan, 39, will be stripped of her role as patron of Britain’s National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

In early 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media.

The couple agreed to no longer use the title “Royal Highness” or receive public funds for their work, although it was unclear at the time if those decisions would stand.

Harry and Meghan, seen here with their son Archie in South Africa in 2019, are expecting their second child. (Toby Melville/Getty Images)

They retain their titles of duke and duchess, and Harry is still sixth in line to the British throne. Harry and Meghan now live in Santa Barbara, Calif., and are expecting their second child, a younger sibling for toddler Archie.

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

They continue to have a tense relationship with sections of the British media. Earlier this month, Meghan won a legal victory in a lawsuit against the publisher of the Mail on Sunday, when a British judge ruled the newspaper invaded her privacy by publishing part of a letter she wrote to her estranged father.

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.”

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