MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry were disappointed to lose their patronages as they thought they would be able to quit royal life and keep them, a royal source has said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were officially stripped of their royal patronages today, with Her Majesty said to be "saddened" by the outcome.
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Buckingham Palace this afternoon confirmed Harry and Meghan will no longer hold their formal positions with a range of military, arts, Commonwealth and sporting organisations.
But the decision is said to have come as a bitter blow to the pair who, despite wanting to remain in the US for personal and financial freedom, believed they could still represent the public-facing bodies.
A royal source told the PA news agency they had "absolutely, no question" they wanted to retain the positions they had lost.
"They do respect the decision but they always made clear they were committed to doing the roles," the source added.
It comes as….
- The Sussexes confirmed they were officially quitting in a statement but insisted "service is universal"
- The decision to officially quit could pave the way for more megabucks deals for the couple
- Prince Harry will no longer represent England Rugby as patron
- The 36-year-old prince won't be able to wear his military uniform after losing his honorary titles
- An expert said the couple's statement "lacked any love"
- Prince Philip remains in hospital after feeling unwell
- Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced they were expecting another baby – making son Archie a big brother
- The couple will be interviewed by Oprah in a primetime special to be aired next month
- Harry is said to be isolating in LA so he is able to return to the UK after the Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital
Today's Megxit announcement – released 11 months after the couple stepped back from their roles as senior royals – was made after conversations between The Duke of Sussex and Members of The Royal Family.
It comes just days after Prince Harry was said to be “upset” by the move having vowed to fight for his patronages earlier this month.
And a source close to the couple indicated on Tuesday that they were reluctantly resigned to losing their links with organisations passed down to them through the Royal Family, The Telegraph reports.
A statement released by Buckingham Palace today read: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.
"Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.
While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.
"The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.
"While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."
Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, who are living in the US as they await the arrival of their new baby, then released a statement saying "service is universal".
A spokesperson for the couple said: "As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the UK and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role.
"We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, said the statement was "pointed" and "lacked compassion".
He told Fabulous: “Harry and Meghan's statement seemed to lack any love or compassion, which is very sad.
“While the Queen wants to leave the door open and generously hasn't stripped them of their royal titles, they have given nothing in return.
“The tone of Harry and Meghan’s press release is quite pointed.
“To say ‘service is universal’ and that anyone can serve is a shot back at the royal family and I think the Queen will be distraught at this turn of events."
Meghan and Harry had previously agreed to no longer use their HRH titles as part of the initial Megxit agreement.
But they will still be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex because they were given the titles as a wedding gift at their 2018 nuptials.
Harry will no longer hold his military titles including The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving.
He is also no longer the patron of England Rugby.
Meghan also lost her patronages with The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.
It comes after the couple last year announced they were quitting as royals, saying they wanted to become financially independent.
Since then, they have moved to the US and signed a string of multi-million pound deals including a rumoured $112 million deal with Netflix.
They have also started their own foundation, Archewell, and launched a podcast series with Spotify believed to be worth £30m.
The pair are next expected to sit down in a tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey in an interview to be aired on CBS next month.
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