explainer

All your questions about what Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's new roles are, answered.

On Saturday, London time, the Queen announced her agreement with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle over their decision to step down as senior members of the British Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will drop their “Royal Highness” titles and will pay back the public money from their AUD$4.5 million renovation on Frogmore Cottage.

The conclusion sought to end turmoil in the monarchy sparked earlier this month by the couple’s decision to become financially independent and split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.

meghan markle court case
In 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will be stepping down as senior members of the British Royal Family. Image: Getty.

Here's the statements in full, how they are being interpreted and how the world is reacting.

Queen Elizabeth's statement in full.

"Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

"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."

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The Buckingham Palace's statement in full.

"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.

"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. 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.

"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."

Statement analysis.

Significantly, this agreement looks to be more strict than what was initially anticipated. Whilst Meghan Markle and Prince Harry intended to be royals part-time, the Queen has made the decision that they can not be half-in, half-out.

According to the UK Telegraph, royal expert Camilla Tominey said this decision is the "hardest Megxit possible for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex".

"The 93-year-old monarch could not be clearer on their on-going role in the Firm: it’s over," Tominey wrote.

Whilst Meghan Markle and Prince Harry intended to only "step back" from their senior roles, the palace has now said, in no uncertain terms, that: "They are no longer working members of the Royal Family."

Evidently, their "progressive" new role, is no role.

Listen to The Quicky podcast, where in this episode we interview royal experts about their thoughts on Meghan and Harry's decision. Post continues below. 

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The fact that two statements were issued has been categorised as significant as well.

The Queen's statement was highly emotional, say royals experts, with lines such as "Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family" and "I recognise the challenges they have experienced".

Indeed, the Queen's statement was heartfelt, calling Prince Harry her "grandson" and with continued emphasis placed on the word "family".

However whilst the Queen dealt with the personal, the Buckingham Palace dealt with the professional side of the Royal Family by outlining the new arrangements.

It detailed in very strict terms that the couple are no longer working members and will hence not represent the Queen in the future.

How the world has reacted.

As ever, the world is divided in their reactions to the announcement.

Of course, UK television host Piers Morgan has been one of the loudest voices commenting on the saga, expressing – once again – his strong dislike of Meghan Markle.

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On the other hand, many people have been extremely supportive of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, calling them role models.

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So, what happens now?

Harry will remain a prince and the couple will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they begin a new life split between North America and Britain.

Meghan is currently in Canada with their son Archie and Harry is expected to join her soon.

The changes will come into effect in the spring of this year, the palace said, and there will be further royal engagements before the new arrangement comes into effect. The situation will be reviewed in a year's time.

While they will no longer receive public funding, Harry's father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, will continue to offer private financial support, a royal source said, according to AAP.

The source said the couple will spend the majority of their time in North America, and had not signed any commercial agreements as yet.


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