Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Receive Support from Royal Patronages They Lost in Stepping Down

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are receiving thanks from their former royal patronages.

Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Friday that the couple — who left full-time royal work in March 2020 — will officially not be returning to their royal roles. As part of stepping down, they will no longer keep their patronages, a.k.a. their royal involvement with numerous U.K. charities.

Trusts and patronages that will revert to Queen Elizabeth, 94, include the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Royal National Theatre, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. Prince Harry will also lose his honorary military appointments.

In their own statement about the news, Harry and Meghan's office said that the pair "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."

"We can all live a life of service. Service is universal," the statement read.

Several of the patronages shared their gratitude to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on social media amid the announcement.

Prince Harry, 36, served as President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust with Meghan, 39, serving as Vice President. The organization, which supports youth empowerment in Commonwealth countries, said in a statement that they felt "lucky" to have worked with the couple.

"They enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organisation to readiness for its next phase," they wrote. "We are glad they remain in our circle of supporters."

The National Theatre — one of four patronages Meghan took on after her marriage to Prince Harry, which was handed down to her by the Queen, who had previously been the royal patron — shared a statement on Twitter saying they were "very grateful for the support offered by the Duchess of Sussex."

"The Duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the UK, and our mission to make theatre accessible to all," they wrote.

The Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League thanked Prince Harry for serving as their patrons, sharing photos of the Queen's grandson at some of their events over the years.

Buckingham Palace said in Friday's statement: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family."

"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 added.

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more! 

Although Prince Harry and Meghan no longer use their coveted His/Her Highness titles, they will retain them — along with their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.

"While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family," the Buckingham Palace announcement said.

Meghan and Prince Harry moved to California, settling in the Montecito neighborhood of Santa Barbara, last year with their son Archie, who will turn 2 in May. They announced on Sunday that they are expecting their second child.

Source: Read Full Article