Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have relinquished their titles of His and Her “Royal Highness.” They also gave up their rights to public funds as part of a deal that allows them to end their roles as royals, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.
The announcement capped off nearly two weeks of rumor and speculation about the couple’s next move. The two, however, will retain their titles of Duchess and Duke of Sussex, according to The Associated Press.
The pair’s announcement earlier this month that they wanted to withdraw from the intense media and public scrutiny – a large part of which was racism directed toward Meghan by England’s tabloids – shook the palace and the country accustomed to throwing a bright spotlight on the royals. Meghan, the longtime star of the TV series Suits, Harry and their infant child Archie are expected to live part-time in Canada.
They did agree to repay the $3.1 million in U.S. dollars in renovations to a home they were to share near Windsor Castle. That expense, The AP reported, was part of the public uproar from the announcement that Meghan and Harry wanted to withdraw from the public portion of their royal duties.
In the official palace statement, Queen Elizabeth said: “I recognize 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 … It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.’’
“Peaceful” was a term that hardly applied to the relationship between the British press and the then-royal couple, particularly Meghan – dating back to their engagement and their 2018 marriage witnessed by a worldwide audience.
The bitter feud with the media reached new depths in October when Meghan launched legal action against a newspaper for publishing a letter she wrote to her father. Prince Harry has taken his wife’s side unconditionally in the face of the blatantly racist undertones in some of the reporting. The tensions have also contributed to a rift between Harry and older brother William, second in line to the throne behind their father, Prince Charles; the details of the rift, however, have not been made public.
Is the split with the British throne the best move for Meghan’s peace of mind, and for her still-new family? Weigh in on it, Grio fam.