Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's New Arrangement After Royal Exit: Everything to Know
Here's a breakdown of everything we know — and all the burning questions the royal family has yet to answer
Plans have been set in place for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s exit from royal life, but while many aspects of the arrangement have already been brought to light, there are still several questions that remain unanswered.
Nearly two weeks after Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, made the bombshell announcement that they intended to step back from their roles as senior royals, Queen Elizabeth shared that an agreement had been reached.
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the monarch, 93, said in a statement on Saturday.
Here’s a breakdown of everything we know — and all the burning questions the royal family has yet to answer.
No Longer Using Their HRH Titles
One of the biggest questions for many revolved around whether Meghan and Harry would retain their HRH (His/Her Royal Highness) titles — especially after the Queen didn’t use them when referring to the pair following the family summit at Sandringham last week.
While there has been a precedence for stepping away from royal life while retaining HRH status — as the Queen’s uncle, Edward VIII, did when he abdicated the throne and was given the title of the Duke of Windsor — it was announced on Saturday that Meghan and Harry would no longer be using theirs.
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family,” a statement from Buckingham Palace explained.
Despite this, the couple will always be members of the royal family, and will retain their HRH titles until this spring, when the new changes go into effect.
Additionally, the pair, who was named the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the Queen on their wedding day, will still be referred to formally as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and will be called Harry, the Duke of Sussex and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
A royal source also told PEOPLE on Saturday that Meghan and Harry will keep the titles of President and Vice President of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, and will continue to work in support for the Queen around the Commonwealth.
However, Harry will leave three military patronages: Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-chief of Small Ships and Diving.
Meanwhile, Meghan is keeping her patronages: the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), National Theatre, the Mayhew and Smart Works.
No More Public Funds
Harry and Meghan, who have been adamant in their desire to become “financially independent,” will no longer be relying on public funds.
“They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties,” Buckingham Palace’s statement said.
While Harry and Meghan will no longer be receiving Sovereign Grant funding — an annual sum given by the government to cover working expenses incurred in support of the Queen — Prince Charles will be offering private financial support, a royal source told PEOPLE on Saturday.
The couple is free to seek employment, but have promised that everything they do will uphold the values of her majesty, the source added, noting that they have no commercial agreements signed or in the pipeline at the moment.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home,” the statement from Buckingham Palace read.
Meghan and Harry will meet the running costs of the home moving forward, royal sources have told PEOPLE. The couple is also expected to pay a commercial rent on the property.
Splitting Their Time Between North America and the U.K.
In Harry and Meghan’s original statement announcing they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family, the pair said that they planned to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America.”
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity,” they explained.
Although they have yet to reveal where they’ll move to in North America, they’ll continue to live in Frogmore Cottage when in the U.K.
New Agreement to Last for a Year
The new arrangements will be reviewed in a year, a royal source told PEOPLE, at which point the royal family will revisit the agreement.
This review is likely to include the foursome who met at Sandringham last week: the Queen, Charles, Prince William and Harry.
At the moment, Harry and Meghan will continue to attend royal events at the invitation of the Queen.
RELATED VIDEO: Prince Harry Was Asked About His ‘Future’ at First Palace Appearance Since His Royal Exit
While the royal family has answered many of the biggest and most immediate questions regarding Meghan and Harry’s exit, several major details have yet to be revealed.
Where They’ll Live in North America — and How Much Time They’ll Be Spending There
While it’s yet to be officially announced, a royal source told PEOPLE that Harry and Meghan will likely be spending most of their time across the pond, although they may have some official duties that will keep them in the U.K. before the new changes go into effect.
“There has been an acceptance about what the couple wants to achieve and a desire to come up with a new way of working and supporting them in that,” the source said. “The issues are complicated but aides believe that the announcement meets the Queen and the family’s wish for a speedy resolution.”
There is also the possibility of Meghan’s hometown of Los Angeles or even Toronto, where she lived for several years while she filmed her hit show Suits.
What will become of SussexRoyal?
Another question that has yet to be addressed is what will become of their SussexRoyal website and brand.
Although Harry and Meghan are still members of the royal family — and will still be formally referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex — there is a question over whether they can still use SussexRoyal if they’re no longer working royals.
One aspect of Harry and Meghan’s financial situation that has yet to be addressed is who will be covering their security costs.
Buckingham Palace’s official statement noted that the palace “does not comment on the details of security arrangements” adding that “there are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly- funded security.”
Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau said no final decision had been made regarding whether Canada would cover security costs for the couple while they were there.
“We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be,” Trudeau told reporters.
Although the couple previously laid out the details of their plan on their website, the section relating to how their “future financially autonomy” extends “to covering the costs of security” did not provide many answers.
“The provision of armed security by The Metropolitan Police is mandated by the Home Office, a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government, responsible for security and law & order. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security,” the website reads before noting the “long established policy” of not commenting on those arrangements.