Prince Harry and Meghan Markle set to mark huge milestone next week

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world back in January when they announced they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family and intend to work to become financially independent.

Next week is a very important one for Prince Harry and Meghan as Tuesday 31 March is the date they will officially leave royal life behind.

After meeting with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, announcements about Harry and Meghan‘s futures were made. The royal family and the couple agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties.

The Duke and Duchess will formally retain their HRH styles, but they will not actively use them and as the couple will no longer be undertaking official engagements in support of Her Majesty, there will be no office based at Buckingham Palace.  

The palace also confirmed that Harry will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader, however during the 12-month period, these honorary titles will not be used.  

Harry will not perform any official duties associated with these roles. The Duke’s involvement with Invictus will continue, and during one of his last solo engagements, he met with Jon Bon Jovi as he recorded a special song with military veterans at Abbey Road Studios.

Harry and Meghan are set to announce details about their new non-profit organisation in the coming months, but as stated on their website, it has been agreed that they “will not utilise the name ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of ‘Royal.'”

The couple carried out their last royal engagements earlier this month, attending the Endeavour Fund Awards and the Mountbatten Festival of Music together. Meghan also visited a secondary school in East London to mark International Women’s Day and met with young leaders from the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Harry and Meghan were reunited with members of the royal family at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on 9 March, including the Queen, Charles and Camilla, Prince William and Kate, and Edward and Sophie Wessex.

In one of her statements regarding Harry and Meghan’s future, the Queen publicly supported her grandson and his wife, saying: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. 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.

I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family. It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”