Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Officially Separate from Shared Charity with Kate and William
A source previously told PEOPLE that the separation is a "natural progression" and not a breakup
The Royal Foundation will continue without the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s involvement, the palace announced in a statement on Thursday.
“The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex has today announced the conclusions of a review into its structure, and how it will best support Their Royal Highnesses with future charitable activity,” the statement began.
“Later this year The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation. In addition both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation’s mental health program, Heads Together.”
The palace release went on to say that new changes to the royal charity structure are designed to “best complement the work and responsibilities of Their Royal Highnesses as they prepare for their future roles, and to better align their charitable activity with their new households.”
“The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are incredibly proud of what they have achieved together through The Royal Foundation. They are especially proud to have established a charity that has had, and will continue to have, significant long-lasting impact, changing lives for the better,” the statement read.
A source previously told PEOPLE that the separation is a “natural progression” and not a breakup.
“A review of The Royal Foundation is something that had previously been announced,” said the source. “This is part of [the couples’] diverging paths, which hastened a look at the foundation.”
Two months ago, the couples separated their joint “court” at Kensington Palace by creating two separate offices. Meghan and Harry’s office moved out of Kensington Palace and into Buckingham Palace, where the Queen resides, while William and Kate’s office remains in Kensington Palace, where they live with their three children. (Since then, Meghan and Harry have moved to Windsor Castle’s Frogmore Cottage with baby Archie — 25 miles outside London — and launched their own Instagram page.)
As heir to the throne, “the Duke of Cambridge has less flexibility [in his charity work] because of his constitutional obligations,” says the source. New dad Harry “is now married, has started a family and is not constitutionally bound. It is a natural progression.”
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The two couples also have different “stylistic” approaches to their work, adds the source: “The Cambridges take a very top-level approach. They have different roles and three small children.”
On the other hand, Harry “has taken a very hands-on, in-the-weeds approach to the birth of Invictus,” his paralympic games for wounded service members and veterans, says the source.
The royal foursome shared the stage in February 2018 at the Royal Foundation Forum, which was set to be the first of many similar events.
Lorraine Heggessey, CEO of the Royal Foundation Forum, told PEOPLE after the event that seeing them together on the stage summed up their public work of “the whole idea of the family working together.”
“You saw the way they interact and how they bounce off each other and have a natural passion and commitment to the work and to making a difference,” she said.