London: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have agreed to give up their royal titles and stop receiving public funds as part of a settlement with the Queen that lets them spend more private time in Canada.
The announcement from Buckingham Palace on Saturday follows more than a week of intense private talks aimed at managing the fallout of the couple’s shock decision to give up front-line royal duties.
The decision means the couple will stop using the titles “royal highness” as they assume more ordinary lives that will see them spend more time away from both Britain and the royal family.
“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,” Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement.
“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.”
Her comments referred to battles with the media that prompted Harry and Meghan — known until now as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — to sue several newspapers over intrusions into their private lives.
A separate statement attributed to Buckingham Palace said “the Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family”.
HRH stands for Her Royal Highness.
“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,” the statement said.
The settlement added that the two will also repay 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.