Harry and Meghan permanently step down as working royals: A significant moment for couple but not so significant for the Crown

·2-min read

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are stepping away from the working Royal Family for good.

It may be sad for his father's family, particularly the Queen, but it is good news for the plans that Prince Harry and Meghan are independently pursuing.

There is no rule that expects close relations of the reigning sovereign to dedicate their lives to supporting the monarch's work - but those that do benefit from special privileges in order to support this work.

These advantages include things like not queuing at airports, motorcycles to get to events on time and a staff that is broadly supported with public funds.

Following their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018, this was the course most people thought Harry and Meghan would follow. However, they have chosen a different path.

With enterprising zeal, they have secured a career together in the United States that draws on their own characters and talents, which looks like it will bring wealth - more than sufficient for their growing family.

But twinning this commercial lifestyle with the privileges granted by the UK for public service crossed the palace's line.

Free of this public duty, they still retain titles (he is Duke of Sussex, Earl of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel) intended for their public service to the Crown.

Also, Harry and son Archie remain sixth and seventh in the line of succession to the Crown, according to statute, and Harry is one of four counsellors of state stood by to enable government business in the event the Queen is away or unwell.

These matters may need to be addressed in slow time, however for now Harry and Meghan remain much-loved members of the Queen's family but out of the working Royal Family.

All patronages and formal appointments in the armed forces are dissolved and they are free to shape their chosen lives.

It is a significant moment for Harry and Meghan but, after a thousand years of navigation through the vicissitudes of history, it is not so significant for the Crown.