The shock decision of prince harry and of Meghan Markle to cease, a year and a half after their grand wedding in Windsor, to exercise their role as senior members of the British royal family and to embrace a whole new life between Canada and the United Kingdom is now a little more established: two press releases published on the evening of Saturday, January 18 2020 finalize the process, detailing the concrete consequences of this turnaround and the terms of the arrangement decided after a week of discussions between the Queen, Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William in Sandringham, His Majesty’s winter stronghold.
In one, factual, the palace indicates that under the new provisions, which will come into force in the spring, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are deprived of their title of Royal Highnesses (they will now be known simply as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex) and will have to reimburse the approximately £ 2.4 million (€ 2.8 million) ofpublic money used for the renovation and fitting out of the Frogmore Cottage where they had chosen to take up residence after their wedding. In the other, the queen Elizabeth II expresses its full support in very affectionate terms. But there are still many unanswered questions …
Buckingham Palace press release
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their continued support as they embark on a new chapter in their lives. Under the terms of the new arrangement, they understand that they must withdraw from royal activities, including official military assignments. They will no longer receive public money for royal activities. With the Queen’s permission, the Sussexes will continue to insure their patronage and accompany their associations in private. Although they can no longer formally represent the Queen, the Sussexes have made it clear that whatever they do will continue to honor Her Majesty’s values.
“Sussex will no longer use their HRH title [Son Altesse Royale, NDLR] since they will no longer be active members of the royal family. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced their wish to repay the Sovereign Grant [le Fonds souverain, soit l’allocation versée chaque année par le gouvernement au monarque pour ses activités officielles, NDLR] for expenses related to the renovation of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their family home in the United Kingdom.
“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of the security arrangements. There are well-established independent processes to determine the need for a publicly funded protection service.
“These new provisions will take effect in spring 2020.“
Elizabeth II’s press release
Accompanying these practical measures induced by the change of career and status of Harry and Meghan, the sovereign joined a few very personal words highlighting the family love and the support offered to them in this great turning point.
“After months of discussion and the latest discussions, I am delighted that we have found a constructive way to support my grandson and his family for the future., begins by stating the 93-year-old monarch, confirming that this decision has been the subject of mature reflection in common. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognize that they have had to face hardships due to intense media attention for the past two years and support their wish for a more independent life.
“I want to thank them for all the work they have done with dedication across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and I am particularly proud of the way Meghan has integrated so quickly into the family. family hopes that today’s deal will allow them to start building a new happy and peaceful life.“
Among the gray areas that remain following the publication of these two press releases are particularly questions of a financial nature. How will the Sussexes earn a living? Will they still receive a nice income (2.7 million euros per year) from the revenues of the Duchy of Cornwall exploited by Prince Charles? Will they be able to continue to use publicly the name “Sussex Royal”, the name of their Instagram account?
Prince Harry had been in England for several days to settle the terms of this agreement. After one crisis meeting Monday January 13 involving the Prince of Wales and Prince William to draw the details, he must have other negotiations on Monday, January 20, despite his desire to return quickly to Canada, where his wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie are waiting.