Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Receive Love From Former Patronages After Royal Exit

After Buckingham Palace announced that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will not be returning as working members of the royal family, several of the couple's former patronages issued heartfelt messages

By Elyse Dupre Feb 19, 2021 6:05 PMTags

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are receiving some love from the causes close to their hearts.

After it was announced on Feb. 19 that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will not be returning as working members of the royal family—and will therefore lose royal patronages—the couple received messages of appreciation for their work over the years.

For instance, The Queen's Commonwealth Trust thanked Harry and Meghan—who served as president and vice president, respectively—for their support and commitment to the team.

"We have been very lucky to have had the keen support and encouragement of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in our formative years," part of a statement read. "They have enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organization to readiness for its next phase. We are glad that they remain in our circle of supporters." 

The Rugby Football Union and The Rugby Football League were also among the associations to revert back to Queen Elizabeth II. Harry worked with the union for years and was appointed vice patron of the RFU in 2010, taking on the role of patron for both the union and league in 2016.

"We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the Rugby Football Union both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron," the RFU said in a statement obtained by Sky Sports. "The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game. We look forward to welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex back to Twickenham at some point in the future."

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In addition, The National Theatre, which Meghan became patron of in 2019, noted it "is very grateful for the support offered by the Duchess of Sussex throughout the course of her patronage."

"The Duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the U.K., and our mission to make theatre accessible to all," a tweeted statement read. "As Buckingham Palace have stated, the process of appointing a new patron is ongoing and will be announced in due course."

The Association of Commonwealth Universities, a patronage Meghan also inherited from Her Majesty in 2019, will revert back to The Queen, as well. In addition, honorary military appointments held by Harry—including associations with The Royal Marines, RAF Honington and Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving—will be returned to The Queen.

Harry and Meghan will still work with a number of the organizations they supported in the past. For instance, Meghan, who is pregnant, will remain patron of Mayhew and Smart Works Charity, and Harry will continue to serve as patron of Sentebale and the Invictus Games Foundation.

The couple stepped back as senior members of the royal family last year, and this announcement from Buckingham Palace came after a 12-month review.

"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," part of the Palace's statement read. "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."

After the announcement was made, a spokesperson for Meghan and Harry issued a response. "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. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."