On Feb. 19, just over a year after the couple announced their decision to take a step back from the spotlight, Queen Elizabeth II confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would not be returning as working members of the royal family.
"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," the statement read. "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."
"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," the message continued. "While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."
Meghan and Harry, who are currently expecting a baby, also shared a message regarding the decision. "As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role," a spokesperson for the couple said. "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
The military, commonwealth and charitable associations that will revert to Queen Elizabeth II include the Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving as well as the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
In Jan. 2020, the duo announced their decision to step back from royal life. "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution," they said in a statement at the time. "We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen."