In Brief

Prince Harry and Meghan to shutter Buckingham Palace office

Duke and Duchess of Sussex will officially step down from royal duties on 31 March

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are to close their office in Buckingham Palace ahead of their impending withdrawal from royal duties.

The office will cease operating at the end of March in what The Times describes as a “dismantling” of the links between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Royal Family, as a year-long review into the new relationship begins.

A royal spokesperson said that as the couple will no longer be undertaking official engagements in support of the Queen, which are funded by the Sovereign Grant, an office at Buckingham Palace is “no longer needed”, reports Town & Country magazine.

The majority of the 15 people who work for the Sussexes are believed to be negotiating redundancy deals, although some could be found other positions within the royal household.

Harry and Meghan will officially cease to be senior royals and stop representing the Queen from 31 March.

Former royal press secretary Dickie Arbiter told The Times that by instigating the twelve-month review, the Palace was “leaving the door ajar for a year. The door is not slammed but it’s not wide open either.”

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After officially stepping down, the Sussexes be represented by a new non-profit foundation. However, the foundation will not be called Sussex Royal, the brand already established by the couple, after reported objections by the Queen over the use of the word “royal”. 

Harry’s priorities for the foundation will be “supporting the welfare of servicemen and women, conservation, sport for social development, HIV and Travalyst which works to mobilise the tourism and travel industry for social good”, according to the Daily Mail.

Meanwhile, Meghan will focus on “women’s empowerment, gender equality and education”.

The paper reports that, as well as giving up his HRH titles, Harry’s honorary military titles of major, lieutenant-commander and squadron leader will not be used during the year-long review period.

The Sussexes will attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey on 9 March, in what is expected to be their last official appearance as working members of the monarchy.

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