I honestly thought we would get some kind of major announcement about the Sussexes on Friday, but no – reportedly, the issues were still being worked on at the close of royal business on Friday, like security, titles and finances. Except that everything seemed to have come together by today? Weird. My guess is that they timed this so that the news would make the front pages of all of the Sunday papers, actually. Which sucks, because that means Buckingham Palace was dictating the timeline here, not the Sussexes. That being said, it’s pretty clear at this point that the Sussexes don’t give a f–k. As I suspected, their royal-title status was an issue. They’re giving up their HRH-status, but they will still be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. They’ll be “paying back” some of the cost of refurbishing Frogmore Cottage, and they won’t be getting any public funds from here on out.
The deal is done: Queen Elizabeth II has finalized an agreement for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal split, under which they will no longer use the titles His and Her Royal Highness, no longer receive public funds for their duties carried out on behalf of the family, and even repay the some $3 million spent on renovating their U.K. home.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement. “As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.”
“With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations,” Buckingham Palace’s statement continued. “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. The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family. 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.”
“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements,” the statement continued, addressing another controversial issue regarding Meghan and Harry’s royal split. “There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security. This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020,” the statement added.
In her statement, the Queen also wrote, “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.”
She also praised Meghan, whose intense scrutiny by the U.K. tabloids over the past couple of years helped lead to the couple’s decision to step back from their royal duties.
“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,” the Queen said. “It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
[From E! News]
The removal of the HRHs bothers me because… well, Prince Andrew is still an HRH and he raped teenagers trafficked to him by Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. But he’s white and the Queen’s favorite, so I guess that’s A-OK. I’m also irritated with the fake-ass punishment of reimbursing the crown for the renovations on Frogmore Cottage – the Queen gave them a shabby little cottage with the understanding that it needed to be renovated, and so that’s what they did, which is the same thing the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge did with Kensington Palace Apartment 1, and they also let their KP apartment sit there, barely used for years as they lived full-time in Norfolk. Anyway… the Queen made it clear that she was “punishing” the Sussexes and the Sussexes made it clear that they don’t give a sh-t, and they just wanted to get out in any way they could.
Also: I find it interesting that the statement is very vague – “the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty” – about how they’ll earn money from here on out. That was a sticking point too – in exchange for their HRHs, they get to make some business deals.
Update: The Sussexes’ statement says they “will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.” Their HRH status was not “taken away,” they’re giving up the usage by themselves? Is that a distinction without a difference? Trust me when I say that everything is carefully worded on purpose.
Photos courtesy of WENN.