Harry and Meghan to lose titles

Entertainment

FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2020, file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after visiting Canada House in London, after their recent stay in Canada. As Prince Harry and Meghan step back as senior royals, questions linger over the role race has played in her treatment in Britain. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

LONDON (AP) — Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will no longer use the titles “royal highness” or receive public funds under a deal struck Saturday for them to step aside as senior royals, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.

The palace said Harry and Meghan will cease to be working members of the royal family when the new arrangements take effect in “spring 2020.” They will be known as Harry, Duke and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The couple will no longer use the titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness, but they are not being stripped of them. Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line to the British throne.

The agreement also calls for Meghan and Harry to repay 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) in taxpayers’ money that was spent renovating their home near Windsor Castle.

The couple’s departure is a wrench for the royal family, but Queen Elizabeth II had warm words for them in a statement Saturday.

The queen said she was pleased that “together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.”

The announcement came after days of talks among royal courtiers sparked by Meghan and Harry’s announcement last week that they wanted to step down as senior royals and live part-time in North America.

The details of the deal solidify the couple’s dramatic break from life as working royals. Army veteran Harry will have to give up the military appointments he has as a senior royal.

While he and Meghan will no longer represent the queen, the palace said they would “continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty” while carrying out their private charitable work.

Buckingham Palace did not disclose who will pay for the couple’s security going forward. It currently is taxpayer-funded.

“There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly funded security,” it said.

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