London: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have agreed to give up their royal titles and stop receiving public funds as part of a settlement with the Queen that lets them spend more private time in Canada.
The announcement from Buckingham Palace follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the couple’s shock decision to give up front-line royal duties.
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement.
“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.”
Not to use HRH titles: Her comments referred to battles with the media that prompted Harry and Meghan — known until now as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — to sue several newspapers over intrusions into their private lives.
A separate statement attributed to Buckingham Palace said “the Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family”. HRH is the acronym for Her Royal Highness.
“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,” the statement said.
Two will also repay 2.4 million pounds of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their home: The settlement added that the two will also repay 2.4 million pounds of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.
The Palace added that it would not comment on who ends up paying for their security detail in Canada — an issue of intense public debate.
It also failed to mention whether the couple would be allowed to benefit financially from future royalties and franchise fees.
Harry and Meghan are seeking to register the “Sussex Royal” brand as a global trademark for their future enterprises.