Eddie Mair 4pm - 6pm
Meghan and Harry bow out of royal family vowing to work out how to 'best contribute'
31 March 2020, 08:12
From today, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer senior members of the royal family and have vowed to work out how to "best contribute".
The pair have also dropped their "SussexRoyal" brand, posting a heartfelt message on their Instagram page last night referencing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The duke and duchess said: "As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile.
"Yet we are confident that every human being has the potential and opportunity to make a difference - as seen now across the globe, in our families, our communities and those on the front line - together we can lift each other up to realise the fullness of that promise.
"What's most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone across the globe and finding solutions for the many issues that have presented themselves as a result of this pandemic.
"As we all find the part we are to play in this global shift and changing of habits, we are focusing this new chapter to understand how we can best contribute."
Their account will now remain inactive, as will their website, which is thought to have cost Meghan and Harry thousands before they were told they could not use their SussexRoyal brand.
The Queen and her senior officials were said to have ordered them to drop the use of the word "royal" because it could have led to accusations they were cashing in on their family status.
The Sussexes agreed to the change, but appeared to show their dissatisfaction, with their website previously stating that the monarchy had no jurisdiction over the use of the word "royal" overseas.
Tomorrow marks an end of months of turmoil for the couple and the royal family, after making the surprise announcement in April that they wished to "step back" as senior members of the family and work towards financial independence.
Harry and Meghan have now moved to the United States with baby son Archie to start a new chapter of their life.
But the Sussexes risk becoming "pretty irrelevant" according to royal author Penny Junor, as it will be the Queen and other senior royals who will be attempting to lead the nation through the coronavirus crisis. The Prince of Wales tested positive for Covid-19, although he is now out of self-isolation.
She said: "It's a great morale boost to have words from the Queen or words from William and to watch his children clapping the NHS workers. It's important."
Ms Junor went on to say: "All of this is absolutely what the family is about and those members of the royal family that are on a limb now are pretty irrelevant."
It appears the Covid-19 outbreak has prompted the couple to postpone announcing the new name of their Sussex Royal brand.
A spokeswoman for the couple said the Instagram post marked their transition on Tuesday from working members of the royal family to financial independence which will see them keep, but no longer use their HRH styles.
Prince Harry will also retain his place in the line of succession to the British throne.
She said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex would prefer that in the immediate weeks and months, the focus remains on the global response to Covid-19."
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will spend the next few months focusing on their family and continuing to do what they can, safely and privately, to support and work with their pre-existing charitable commitments while developing their future non-profit organisation."
Harry and Meghan were forced to disclose they had put in place "privately funded security arrangements" for their move to the US after President Donald Trump said his country would not pay for their protection.
A spokeswoman for the Sussexes took the unusual step of commenting about their protection plans after Mr Trump said in a tweet on Sunday: "Now they have left Canada for the U.S. however, the U.S. will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!"
In response the spokeswoman said: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have no plans to ask the US government for security resources.
"Privately-funded security arrangements have been made."
Harry and Meghan have moved from their exclusive Vancouver Island home to Los Angeles, where Meghan was born and raised, and where her mother Doria Ragland still lives.
They are now said to be living in lockdown close to Hollywood, in accordance with California's Covid-19 containment measures.
Harry and Meghan's new royal foundation was due to be launched in the spring but a spokeswoman for the couple said the "winding up process has begun", it is now expected a new non-profit organisation will be launched at some point in the US.