The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use their HRH titles and will not receive public funds for royal duties, Buckingham Palace has announced.
Here we answer some of the questions we have received from readers about what this means.
What will they be called? – Elle
Prince Harry and Meghan have said they will no longer use their HRH titles.
From this spring, they will become known as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Harry will remain a prince, having been born one.
Will Harry still be sixth in line for the crown? – Margaret Wyatt
Yes, his position in the line of succession will not change.
Which royal patronages will they keep? – Steve Oltmanns
The statement from Buckingham Palace said the duke and duchess will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations “with the Queen’s blessing”.
Harry holds 16 patronages, according to the Sussex Royal website – including the Invictus Games Foundation, the Royal Marines and the Rugby Football League (RFL), for which he hosted the 2021 World Cup draw on Thursday.
The RFL has confirmed he will continue as patron.
Meghan holds four: the National Theatre, the Association of Commonwealth Universities, London-based animal charity Mayhew, and women’s charity Smart Works.
Will Harry relinquish the position of Captain General Royal Marines? – Sean O’Callaghan
The ceremonial head of the Royal Marines is a very important position – and one that Harry will have to let go.
Losing it is likely to be a sad moment for the duke, who has maintained a strong bond with the military since he left the Army in 2015.
As well as bowing and curtseying to the Queen, will they have to do this with every other royal? – Lisa Townsley
No. Apart from to the Queen, members of the Royal Family don’t tend to bow and curtsey to one another that often.
Are all these measures reversible if Harry changes his mind? – Andrew C Barquin
In theory, the title HRH would still stand, Frogmore Cottage would remain available, and there would be plenty of work for him.
But some doors will be closed. The Royal Marines will, in all likelihood, look for a replacement as Captain General, and the same goes for his other military appointments.
The answer also depends on what he does next.
The couple have said they will “continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty” in their future work, but they may decide to branch out into areas outside of other royals’ remits.
A return would be possible, but it seems unlikely that it would be to the same role.
What will Harry do for income? – Pam
Harry and Meghan have said they want to become “financially independent”, and Buckingham Palace has confirmed they will no longer receive public funds for royal duties.
What that means in practice for their future work is not clear – but they will be independent and, according to BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond, the Palace will have no oversight of them.
Will they pay rent for Frogmore Cottage? – Gary O’Brien
Yes. Palace officials have confirmed they will pay rent for the house, which will remain their UK family home – although we don’t know how much it will be.
They intend to repay £2.4m of taxpayer money that was spent on its refurbishment.
Will they still take money from the Prince of Wales? – Lucy Baldwin
Yes. It’s thought – but not confirmed – that they have received just under £2.5m a year from Prince Charles.
That money comes from the income the Prince of Wales receives from his estate, the Duchy of Cornwall.
It’s not clear whether the same level of funding will continue.
Will they pay for any required security? – Judith Aselton Delaney
We don’t know.
Buckingham Palace did not comment on the details of security arrangements, but said there are independent processes to work out what is needed.
A former senior palace official told Jonny Dymond that discussion around the cost of the couple’s security may be blown out of proportion.
Who will cover the public engagements previously carried out by Meghan and Harry? – William Ransford
There will be extra work for the remaining royals, especially the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
According to tables compiled each year by retired insurance broker Tim O’Donovan, Harry attended 201 engagements last year, while Meghan had 83.
The Prince of Wales is already carrying out a lot of the Queen’s former duties, and the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of York have stepped down from public life.
Members of the Royal Family carried out more than 3,500 engagements last year.
The working royals will need to assess how many of the Sussexes’ appointments they can handle.