meghan-harry-step-down

12 questions answered about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's future as they prepare to leave the royal family

The Sussexes officially step back from royal life on 31 March

Danielle Stacey

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially step back from their royal duties on 31 March, with Buckingham Palace releasing details about the agreement reached between the couple and the Queen in January,

In their initial statement on 8 January, Prince Harry and Meghan said they wanted to work to become financially independent and plan to split their time between the UK and North America. After living in Canada since November 2019, the Sussexes have now reportedly moved to Los Angeles with their ten-month-old son Archie.

Harry and Meghan's decision has raised many questions about what the future holds for the Sussexes and the royal family. HELLO! answers 12 key questions.

Loading the player...

 

WATCH: Harry and Meghan's departure - a timeline

How will Prince Harry and Meghan become financially independent?

Now that they will no longer be working members of the royal family, they are free to pursue careers and strike commercial deals. The Prince of Wales will continue to offer "private financial support" to the couple, which may not necessarily be from his Duchy of Cornwall income. While it's still unclear which career paths the Sussexes will take, Meghan has landed her first voiceover role for Disneynature's Elephant documentary, in exchange for a donation to Elephants Without Borders. HELLO! understands that she recorded the narration in autumn 2019 before the couple's decision to step back from royal life.

Will they give up their royal titles?

While the couple will formally retain their HRH styles, they will no longer actively use them. It was previously revealed that they will be individually styled as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, but according to reports, this is said to be incorrect. The problem relates to the comma because in the past, only divorced royal women have been styled this way – for example, Diana, Princess of Wales and Sarah, Duchess of York. HELLO! understands that the way the Sussexes will be addressed in future is still to be confirmed.

READ: Royal events we'll miss this year because of the coronavirus pandemic

royal-wedding

Harry and Meghan married in May 2018

Will Prince Harry give up his place in the line of succession?

Harry will remain sixth-in-line to the throne, while his son Archie will stay as seventh-in-line.

What will happen to Frogmore Cottage?

The statement from Buckingham Palace said that Frogmore Cottage will remain Harry and Meghan's home in the UK. It read: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home." A palace source added: "The Queen has made it clear that Frogmore will continue to be the Sussexes’ home. They will repay the public expenditure on it and will pay for its upkeep. They will be paying a commercial rent on it." 

Will they still make appearances at royal events?

The Queen is often joined by extended members of the royal family at formal events such as Trooping the Colour, which indicates that we are still likely to see Harry and Meghan on the Buckingham Palace balcony in future.

Will they keep their patronages?

The statement from Buckingham Palace confirmed: "With the Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."

Harry loses his military patronages and will no longer serve as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, representing the Queen. He will step down as Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant at RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving. He and Meghan will, however, retain their roles as President and Vice President of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust. There will, however, be a "period of transition" before all this comes into effect. 

MORE: Meghan and Harry jet to LA for good, leaving Canada before borders close for Coronavirus

archie-birth

Harry and Meghan's son Archie was born in May 2019

Will they still go on royal tours?

Under the new arrangement, Buckingham Palace has stated that Harry and Meghan "understand that they are required to step back from royal duties, including official military appointments." This also means that the couple will no longer carry out official royal tours.

Where will Archie go to nursery and school?

As Archie is only ten months old, Meghan and Harry's plans for his future schooling and education have not been confirmed.

How will they divide their time between the UK and North America?

HELLO! understands that Harry and Meghan will spend the majority of the time in North America. Since November 2019, they have based themselves in a rented mansion on Vancouver Island in Canada. However, in March 2020, the Sussexes reportedly moved to Meghan's home city, Los Angeles. Alternatively, the couple could decide to move to Toronto at a later date, where Meghan lived when she was filming US legal drama Suits. HELLO! understands that the Sussexes will be back in the UK "regularly."

MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal guide to parenting

meghan-harry-canada-house

Harry and Meghan at Canada House in January

What paid jobs could they have?

There has been some indication about the Sussexes' future plans for financial independence, after they applied to trademark the Sussex Royal brand in the UK, for items such as books, clothing, education and charitable fundraising. However since then, the couple have agreed not to use the word 'royal' in any of their future endeavours. 

A spokesperson for the Sussexes previously explained: "While The Duke and Duchess are focused on plans to establish a new non-profit organisation, given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word ‘Royal’, it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation, when it is announced this Spring, will not be named Sussex Royal Foundation. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘SussexRoyal’ in any territory post Spring 2020. Therefore the trademark applications that were filed as protective measures, acting on advice from and following the same model for The Royal Foundation, have been removed."

Details of their new non-profit organisation are likely to be unveiled in the coming months. Harry has already announced plans to team up with Oprah Winfrey to produce a mental health documentary for Apple – there could also be potential opportunities for him and Meghan to become brand ambassadors for companies such as this in future.

While no commercial deals have been signed so far, their financial independence means they could seek out fashion lines, sponsorship, become involved with Netflix or Disney, write books, or Meghan could resurrect her lifestyle blog The Tig or acting career. But Buckingham Palace said the couple have vowed that "everything they do will continue to uphold the values" of the Queen.

harry-meghan-commonwealth-arrival

Harry and Meghan on Commonwealth Day - their last public duty

Will Meghan return to her acting career?

Meghan has not expressed that she will be returning to her acting career, but there could potentially be opportunities for her to produce films and documentaries as part of her and Harry's non-profit organisation.

Who will pay for security?

The answer to this question remains unanswered as Buckingham Palace said in its statement that "it does not comment on the details of security arrangements." It added: "There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security."

Just days after the news that Harry and Meghan had moved to Los Angeles had broke, US President Donald Trump tweeted: "I am a great friend and admirer of the Queen & the United Kingdom. It was reported that Harry and Meghan, who left the Kingdom, would reside permanently in Canada. Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!"

In response, a spokesperson for the Sussexes told HELLO!: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to ask the U.S. government for security resources. Privately funded security arrangements have been made."

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.