Watch the key dates in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from royal life

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are set to step away from royal duties in the spring

Hanna Fillingham

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to take a back seat in the royal family has surprised many. On Saturday night, the Queen revealed that they will no longer use their HRH status and will repay the £2.4million of the taxpayers' money spent on refurbishing Frogmore Cottage, where they will stay while in the UK. Prince Harry and Meghan first opened up publicly about their feelings towards being in the public eye as members of the royal family during their tour in Africa in September. While there, it was announced that Meghan would be taking legal action against a national newspaper over the publication of a private letter she had written to her dad, Thomas Markle. Harry shortly afterwards took legal action over historical allegations of hacking.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will stop carrying out royal duties in the spring

MORE: The Queen makes rare appearance with Prince Andrew

Meghan and Harry revealed their struggles with royal life in an ITV documentary with Tom Bradby in October, and the following month, it was announced that they wouldn't be spending Christmas with the Queen. Instead, the couple and their baby son Archie, eight months, went to Canada to take time out to reflect on their future roles. On 7 January, Harry and Meghan were in great spirits as they arrived back in the UK following their time away to undertake their first public royal engagement at the Canadian High Commission in London, but the following day they announced on their Instagram their intentions to step back from royal duties. There have since been crisis meetings and discussions among the senior members of the royal family, and most recently the Queen has announced that Harry and Meghan will stop carrying out royal duties in the spring. Watch below to see how everything unfolded…

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