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Why today is an important day for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Sussexes are currently living in Los Angeles

Danielle Stacey

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the shocking announcement that they intended to step back as senior members of the royal family in January. Following discussions with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, it was agreed that Prince Harry and Meghan will officially leave royal life behind on Tuesday 31 March.

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WATCH: Harry and Meghan's departure - a timeline

Today marks the start of a new chapter for the couple and their ten-month-old son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. After living in Canada for six months, the Sussexes have reportedly set up a more permanent base in Meghan's home city, Los Angeles.

At the summit with the Queen, Charles and Prince William, Harry and Meghan agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangements of the next year work for all parties. Issues within the discussions included the couple's HRH styles – while they will formally retain them, they will no longer actively use them. It was also agreed that as the couple will no longer be undertaking official engagements in support of Her Majesty, there won't be an office based at Buckingham Palace for them.

The palace also confirmed that Harry will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader, however during the 12-month period, these honorary titles will not be used. Harry will not perform any official duties associated with these roles. The Duke's involvement with Invictus will continue, and during one of his last solo engagements, he met with Jon Bon Jovi as he recorded a special song with military veterans at Abbey Road Studios.

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Harry and Meghan's last public engagement on Commonwealth Day 

The couple carried out their last royal engagements earlier this month, attending the Endeavour Fund Awards and the Mountbatten Festival of Music together. Meghan also visited a secondary school in East London to mark International Women's Day and met with young leaders from the Queen's Commonwealth Trust and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The Duchess has also landed her first film gig, it was revealed last week. Meghan has narrated the forthcoming Elephant documentary on Disneynature, which she recorded in autumn 2019 in exchange for a donation to the charity, Elephants Without Borders.

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