The Many Ways Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Severed Ties to the Royal Family

The Many Ways Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Severed Ties to the Royal Family
Image: ENT/SplashNews

prince harry and meghan markle
ENT/SplashNews

Stepping down from royal life is obviously a decision that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, must have taken quite seriously. It certainly involved a lot of sacrifice and change for the couple, as well as for the rest of the British royal family. While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not yet offered one clear-cut explanation as to why they chose to step down from their royal duties, the general consensus has been that they are essentially looking for a more peaceful and private lifestyle for them and their, son Archie, while being able to pursue different avenues in their careers -- so they can be financially independent. 

It's been reported that the royal couple (yes, they are still members of the royal family) wished to engage in various commercial endeavors -- outside of their royal duties -- going forward without being subjected to official financial reviews by the royal family's financial team. Basically, they want to be in control of the work they do and how much they are paid for it, which, of course, is exactly what most 30-somethings strive for ... but has not ever been an option for senior members of the British royal family.

Still, there are some who believe Meghan and Harry's split was less about the money and more about the strained relationships they allegedly have with several other members of the royal family. Others speculate that it's actually because they want to protect their son from the paparazzi and the public eye. It's likely a combination of all three reasons, but of course, only the duke and duchess themselves would know. 

Regardless, Meghan and Harry have had to cut a lot of ties along the way.

  • Harry's Military Connections

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    Prince Harry military
    SplashNews

    Prince Harry served proudly in the British military for 10 years, serving two tours in Afghanistan and rising to the rank of captain. But he had to give up that title, as well as the title of Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodor-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command, when he stepped down as a senior member of the royal family. 

    So long, military career.

  • The HRH

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    prince harry and meghan markle
    SplashNews

    While Meghan and Harry are still a duchess and duke, they can no longer be referred to as Her Royal Highness or His Royal Highness. Those titles were cut since they can only be used in reference to senior members of the royal family. We can imagine this one has taken more getting used to by the people who would normally refer to them this way, but it might still be a bit of a gut shot for the couple.

  • Their Royal Professions

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    harry and meghan
    SplashNews

    As senior members of the royal family, Harry and Meghan were technically employed by the monarch. Their official duties, of course, were to represent Queen Elizabeth at official events and commitments in several countries. From now on, when the couple attends important events, they will not be official representatives of Her Majesty. Of course, that might be a bit like asking the jury to strike something from the record.

  • Their Home

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    frogmore cottage harry and meghan
    W8 Media/Splash News

    Meghan and Harry are no longer entitled to their royal residence at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor. But the couple did agree to pay rent at the going rate, in addition to paying back the $3 million of public money spent on renovations. So technically, they get to keep their home, but they have to pay for it out of pocket just like everybody else in the world who doesn't benefit from an elite bloodline.

  • Harry's 'Home'

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    prince harry and meghan markle vancouver island
    SplashNews

    That said, Harry is still losing the "home" he was born into. Since their split from the royals, Harry and Meghan have lived on Canada's Vancouver Island, and now call as Los Angeles home. The Duke of Sussex has lived in Great Britain the vast majority of his life and has never before resided in North America, so the change has likely been the most profound for him -- especially considering our new normal began shortly after their move, and he has not been able to travel back to his home country.

  • Titles for Their Children

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    baby archie
    Splash News

    While Prince Harry and his wife are still formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their son, Archie, will never be a prince, and any future children will never have a royal title at all. While cutting out those generational ties will probably mean their kids will have much more freedom and privacy than Harry and his brother William ever had, it's also possible they may grow up to feel shortchanged.

  • Harry's Ambassadorship

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    prince harry with kids in barbados
    SplashNews

    Prince Harry's connection with the British Commonwealth has been severed. He formerly held the title of Commonwealth Youth Ambassador with the organization in which he was tasked with connecting youth with leadership within the Commonwealth countries so they could address social, environmental, and economic issues. Instead, Harry and Meghan will now serve as president and vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

  • Agreements With Paparazzi

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    Meghan and Harry paparazzi
    SplashNews

    Out of respect, most British tabloids have an unspoken agreement with the royals that ensures they will not take unofficial photos of anyone in the family. But because Meghan and Harry have been absolved of their royal duties -- and because they are now spending most of their time in North America -- it's likely that paparazzi won't continue to hold to that standard.

  • It's Gone a Step Further

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    Harry and Meghan smiling
    SplashNews

    Shortly after moving to California, the duke and duchess announced that they would have "zero engagement" with several British tabloids, completely cutting ties with the publications. A number of British tabloids are well-known for their ruthlessness, so it's definitely understandable. The couple will no longer have anything to do with The Daily Mail, The Sun, the Daily Mirror or the Daily Express, all of which cover the royals extensively.

  • The Royal Instagram Account

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    The senior royals have official Instagram accounts associated with their titles, and those accounts, of course, each have millions of followers worldwide -- and we're sure are mostly managed by social media professionals. As of some time in March 2020, Harry and Meghan's @sussexroyal handle is no longer under their control. It's been months and they have yet to officially resurface on Instagram.

  • Royal Aides

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    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
    Splash News

    It understandably takes a lot to manage the comings and goings of a royal couple, but from now on, Meghan and Harry will have to figure all of that out themselves. The couple closed their Buckingham Palace office in February 2020, and they no longer have access to their royal aides and staff -- many of whom were laid off because of Meghan and Harry's departure.

  • The Legal Team

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    Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
    Splash News

    As a part of their separation from the royals, Harry and Meghan have split with Harbottle & Lewis,  the royal legal team that has represented Harry since he was a teenager, as well as most of the other royals. Many have speculated that this move is another indicator that he and Meghan will not resume their official roles in 2021, when they are scheduled to once again discuss their future with the Queen.

  • The Charity

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    prince harry endeavor fund
    Splash News

    In June 2020, Prince Harry removed his charity, the Endeavor Fund, from the Royal Foundation -- which is run by his brother, Prince William, and Kate Middleton. The Endeavor Fund has been rolled into Harry's other charity, the Invictus Games Foundation. This means that Harry will now be able to run both charities without any input from the royal family.

  • Public Funding

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    harry and meghan public funding
    Splash News

    The British government allots a certain percentage of funds each year to go towards the sovereign's expenditures. Those funds are part of the Sovereign Grant and are mostly used for business purposes. Harry and Meghan will no longer receive funding from the Sovereign Grant since they are no longer considered senior royals -- so they'll have to find their own ways of funding business endeavors. They do each have several million dollars independently, and Harry's father, Prince Charles, is said to be helping out as well.

  • No More Tours

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    meghan and harry south africa
    Splash News

    Each year, senior members of the British royal family embark on official tours that take them to destinations throughout the world. During these tours, they are acting as representatives to the Queen, but since Meghan and Harry no longer officially represent the Queen, they no longer get to travel the world on the British government's dime. 

  • Planning the Royal Exit for Some Time

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    Prince Harry
    Elder Ordonez/Splash News

    Though enough people blame Meghan Markle for the couple's departure from royal life that the entire ordeal has been nicknamed "Megxit," some believe that Harry was planning his exit even before he married Meghan. The younger prince has never been a huge fan of the spotlight and has been open about his mental health struggles and the ways life in the public eye have impacted him.

  • Harry Separated From Friends

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    prince harry with friends
    Splash News

    It's been said that Prince Harry -- who was once known as the more wild of Prince Charles' and Princess Diana's two children -- began cutting ties with his old friends while Meghan was still pregnant with baby Archie, going so far as to change his phone number. While that may be because he was shedding his former life as a part of the process of becoming a husband and father, it could have been a clue to what was ahead for the royal couple.

  • Archie's Birth Was Another Clue

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    meghan and harry with baby sussex
    DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

    Meghan and Harry also ruffled some feathers and perhaps clued us all into what we might expect from them going forward when they decided to forgo the postpartum photo op that is standard for the royals. Typically, when a baby is born into the upper echelons of the royal family, the parents introduce the baby to the public outside of the hospital just hours after the birth, requiring mom to undoubtedly spend those hours on hair, makeup, and getting dressed -- instead of bonding with her baby. Instead, Harry gave a solo press conference, while mom and baby were recovering. (Archie was officially introduced a few days later at Windsor Castle.)

    Clearly, Meghan and Harry were never going to be content to go along with norm.

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