Prince Harry is officially in Canada. The 35-year-old touched down in Canada on Monday, marking the beginning of a new chapter in his life. Awaiting him are Meghan Markle and 8-month-old Archie, who have been in Canada since the announcement was made.
On Saturday, Buckingham Palace released a statement that detailed what Harry and Meghan’s lives will be like moving forward. “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,” the statement began.
“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,” it continues.
“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,” it explains.
“Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. 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.”
On Sunday, Harry made his first appearance in the wake of the announcement. Harry delivered a speech at an event with supporters of his Sentebale charity. While speaking there, Harry frankly discussed the new stage in his life.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” Harry noted. “The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back, is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”
“What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you,” Harry continued.
“I was born into this life, and it is a great honor to serve my country and the Queen. When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You’ve looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.”
“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service,” Harry concluded. To hear it all in Harry’s own words was harrowing. It’s hard to ignore how the events of his whole life, not just the part he’s shared with Meghan, have led to the decision.
While Harry and Meghan are free to carve their own path moving forward, they’re already dealing with some of the same old problems. As paparazzi photos of Meghan and Archie out and about have been shared online, the couple’s legal team is issuing a warning.
Wide-lens shots of Meghan have shown the paparazzi are still following her. While many feel that this is the price you pay for being a public figure, consider how frequently unofficial photos of William and Kate surface. The paparazzi seem to be targeting the Sussexes, and two of them have warned they aren’t afraid to take legal action as a result.
There are still some details to be sorted as Harry and Meghan forge ahead. It’s unclear whether Harry and Meghan will continue to use “Sussex Royal” as their brand. They do remain the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but seeing as how they aren’t “royal” anymore, there’s some argument that they may be pressured into finding a new name for their brand.
Royal historian Robert Lacey, who serves as a consultant for The Crown, shared his thoughts on what Harry and Meghan should do in that regard. “Neither Meghan nor Harry have anything special to do with the county of Sussex and now they have been told they are not royal,” he told the Washington Post.
“I think they should go out to the world as ‘Harry and Meghan.’ That’s who they are, and that’s what people love and respond to.”
“Sussex is a posh, old-fashioned pre-revolution title of privilege and distinction and most people, especially young people, don’t get it,” he noted. “They should leave all that behind.” It’s unclear whether or not they’ll have a choice in that matter.
It will be interesting to watch what decisions Harry and Meghan make with their new freedom. It will be the first time Harry gets the chance to live the life he’s long dreamed of. Harry and Meghan seem committed to doing the right things and implementing change in the world, and this may be their chance to make it happen.