James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Meghan and Harry to begin new lives away from royals on March 31
19 February 2020, 16:46
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will lose their office in Buckingham Palace from 1 April, it has been confirmed.
The pair officially begin their lives away from the royal family on 31 March, and will announce details of their new non-profit organisation later in the year, a spokeswoman for the couple said.
It has also been confirmed the pair will return to the UK from Canada for a series of engagements, including Meghan attending an event to celebrate International Women's Day on 8 March.
The couple have also agreed to a one-year transition period running for the length of the financial year to allow either side to “ensure the arrangement works for all parties”.
Harry and Meghan's office have released an update about their plans and said the duke will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader, but will not "perform any official duties associated with these roles."
It has also been confirmed the pair will "formally retain" their HRH styles, but will not actively use them.
A number of royal engagements were also announced with Harry due to attend an Invictus Games event with pop star Jon Bon Jovi on February 28.
The spokeswoman said the Sussexes would continue to work with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the UK and the Commonwealth throughout the year.
The duke and duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish their new non-profit organisation.
Despite the unprecedented move the couple will keep the themes of their public work - the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively.
The couple's spokeswoman said Harry's priorities remain 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.
For Meghan her focus remains women's empowerment, gender equality and education.
The couple moved to Canada with their young son Archie last month after sensationally quitting the royal family to become financially independent.
Earlier today, it was claimed Meghan and Harry had been stripped of their right to use the label "Sussex royal" by the Queen.
It was reported in the Daily Mail that the Queen and senior officials have agreed it is no longer tenable for the couple to keep the word ‘royal’ in their branding.
Harry and Meghan's popular Instagram account uses the name Sussex Royal, as does a website set up by the couple after their decision to quit the monarchy in favour of financial freedom.
It is not yet known what they will call their new charity if they cannot use their Sussex Royal name.
A royal source has said the decision was still subject to ongoing discussions, saying the future use of the term by Harry and Meghan "needed to be reviewed."
"As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are stepping back as senior members of the royal family and will work towards financial independence, use of the word 'royal', in this context, needed to be reviewed," the source said.
"As part of the process to transition the Duke and Duchess of Sussex into their new chapter, planning has been well underway around the launch of their new non profit organisation.
"The Sussexes are living in Canada with their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor as they prepare to drop their HRH styles and quit the monarchy."