The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were "disappointed" not to be able to keep their royal patronages and Harry's military appointments, says a source close to the couple

By Simon Perry
February 24, 2021 09:00 AM
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As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry embrace life in California with 22-month-old son Archie and a second baby on the way, another chapter has officially closed. 

On Feb. 19, Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex "will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family...all are saddened by their decision." 

The statement also came with the announcement that the couple would not be retaining any of their official royal roles.

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Harry and Meghan were "disappointed" not to be able to keep their royal patronages and Harry's military appointments, says a source close to the couple, but "they respect the decision that was reached."

The palace statement added that Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth, 94, decreed that in stepping away from royal work "it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service." 

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: Paul Grover - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Meghan and Harry countered with a statement of their own, saying, "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal." 

The pushback reportedly ruffled feathers at the palace. Others say the couple would not have pushed back had the palace statement simply referred to "royal" service.

Still, adds a royal source, "There is a very strong family bond." 

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There is hope among those close to Harry and his brother Prince William that things will ease now that they aren't focusing on the disagreements over how to be a royal. 

Those close to the Sussexes echo the palace thought there is a difference between the family and the family business – and now that this is out of the way, there can be some room to build bridges.