“The duke and duchess have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Friday, February 19.
“Following conversations with the duke, the queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of the royal family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” the statement continued. “The honorary military appointments and royal patronages held by the duke and duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty before being redistributed among working members of the royal family.”
“While we are all saddened by their decision, the duke and duchess remain much-loved members of the family," the statement concluded.
Harry and Meghan will "remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role," a statement from their office read. "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
The pair will no longer be involved in the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
However, the duo will be able to keep their His/Her Highness titles, in addition to their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.
The red-headed royal, 36, and the former actress, 39 — who share 21-month old son Archie — announced they would step back from the royal family in January 2020. At the time, they planned to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages.”
Harry and Meghan officially stepped down in March 2020 and moved to California, but their 12-month trial period was not set to expire until March 31 if they decided they wanted to come back to the royal family.
Since the lovebirds moved to the U.S., they have scored deals with Netflix and Spotify, which has made them financially independent. Ultimately, the Queen doesn't want royal family members to be "half in, half out," according to a source, so the couple couldn't represent the Queen and the U.K. while also being involved in lucrative projects on the side.