Over a month after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially announced their decision to exit their roles as working royals, a spokesperson for the couple just announced the exact day they’ll wrap up their duties. But that’s not all. A stipulation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new relationship with Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family also includes a surprising caveat.
It all started today when a spokesperson revealed that the 35-year-old prince and 38-year-old duchess will close the book on their HRH roles on March 31. On April 1, they will shutter their office at Buckingham Palace and will begin to be supported entirely by their charity foundation team.
Since 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth requested their presence at the March 9 Commonwealth Day celebrations in London, the timeline makes sense. However, it’s the details of the Sussexes’ new outlined arrangement with the royal family that piqued our interest.
As the spokesperson explained, the couple’s commitment to their service-based causes including “the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health” will not change. But, the couple is set to meet with Buckingham Palace 12 months after the start of their new arrangement, April 1, 2021, to determine whether it’s all working.
“As there is no precedent for this new model of working and eventual financial independence, the Royal Family and The Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties,” the spokesperson said.
This could, of course, reference their wish to become financially independent or their progress toward bettering the Commonwealth, but it also appears to provide an opportunity for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to return to their official royal roles.
This would be relatively unlikely since Prince Harry has outwardly said that he saw “no other option” than to distance his nuclear family from media scrutiny and rebuke their royal titles. Still, it appears the door is being left open for renegotiation in a year’s time.
We can only wonder what this could all ultimately mean for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s fate.