Ten days after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their bombshell announcement that they would ‘step back’ from Royal duties, and which was followed by various crisis talks regarding their futures, both Queen Elizabeth II and Buckingham Palace issued statements on January 18. The Queen’s personal statement was warm, though with tetchy undertones, and she stated that the family had found a ‘constructive way forward’ for the Sussexes. She also stated that she was personally ‘proud of Meghan’, and Harry, Meghan, and Archie would always be a part of the family.
The statement by Buckingham Palace, however, was more business-like and clearer. Harry and Meghan would completely ‘step back’ from their Royal duties, and they would no longer represent the Crown. Along with this, the couple will also relinquish some privileges they enjoyed while officially being a part of the Royal Family.
The Sussexes may have stepped down as Royals, but Harry still will keep his possible claim to the throne. One’s claim to the Royal throne is not just a matter of birth but also a part of UK legislation. If it has to be done, removing Harry’s claim to the throne would also include passing an Act in the UK Parliament.
Currently, Harry is sixth in line to inherit the throne. As Prince William and Kate’s family expands, Harry his son Archie will slip further down the line of succession.
The couple haven’t been stripped of their Royal titles like Princess Diana was after her divorce. However, they have both agreed not to use the titles His / Her Royal Highness (HRH) after they’ve stepped down as they are no longer ‘active Royals’.
Harry is also a former soldier who over the course of his military career has been awarded many honorary titles. As per the statement from Buckingham Palace, Harry has also stepped back from any and all active military appointments, as these also constituted as a part of his Royal duties.
Harry was the Captain General of the Royal Marines, which he inherited from his grandfather – the Duke of Edinburgh.
Harry and Meghan will no longer be funded by the British public taxpayer. However, they will continue to receive monetary support from the income generated by the Duchy belonging to Prince of Wales, Charles. This, by and large, makes up a significant portion of their income.
The couple have also expressed that they wish to repay all money spent to renovate Frogmore cottage which they want to continue to use as their home in the UK whenever they visit.
Payment for Harry and Meghan’s security has become an issue of contention for many British taxpayers. Local media recently revealed that the British Metropolitan Police spend approximately 600,000 pounds a year in order to protect the Sussex family.
Additionally, the couple has stated that they wish to divide their time equally between the UK and Canada. This has resulted in speculation that Canada could foot the bill for the couple’s security during their time there as Canada is a part of the Commonwealth countries that recognise the Queen as the Head of State.
Buckingham Palace has refused to elaborate on any details regarding the security of the former Royal couple. As per its official statement, ‘There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.’
As per British media reports, Meghan Markle’s citizenship was not fast-tracked despite her marrying into British Royalty. Her application will be processed on par with normal applications.
There are no media reports on whether she holds a dual citizenship; moreover, Buckingham Palace has refused to comment.
As for a possible Canadian citizenship, both will have to apply as regular people. While Meghan lived in Canada for seven years while filming Suits, her citizenship or residency status for the country remains unknown.