Meghan Markle and Prince Harry confirmed Friday that they will not be resuming their positions as senior working members of the British royal family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex originally announced their intention to step back from the royal family on Jan. 8, 2020. Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Friday that the queen had declared it was “not possible” for the couple “to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service” due to their decision.
Though “all are saddened by their decision,” the couple “remain much loved members of the family,” the statement said.
That means that appointments and patronages previously given Meghan and Harry must now revert back to the queen, who will then dole them out to the remaining working members of the royal family.
Among the appointments and patronages reverting to the queen are: the Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving, the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
Some of the organizations on Friday tweeted notes of gratitude to the couple for their time and care over the years.
The National Theatre, which the duchess became patron of in January 2019, said it was “very grateful” for the support from the former “Suits” actor.
“The Duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the UK, and our mission to make theatre accessible to all,” the organization tweeted.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust also released a statement shortly after the news broke, thanking both Harry and Meghan for their work in the organization’s “formative years.”
“They enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organisation to readiness for its next phase,” the organization said, adding that it was “so glad that they remain in our circle of supporters.”
In addition to the messages of support, other organizations ― like the duke’s beloved Invictus Games ― also tweeted out clarifications and confirmations that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue as patrons:
Though they’ll no longer be patrons of certain organizations, it’s clear that Harry and Meghan will find a way to stay involved.
A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared a statement after the palace’s announcement on Friday, saying that the two “remain committed to their duty and service to the UK 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,” the statement added. “Service is universal.”
That sentiment was later echoed on social media by many, including Maria Shriver, who tweeted in support of the royals.
“Indeed, service is universal. You don’t have to be working Royals to serve. Millions of people serve every day,” she said. “Service doesn’t require titles. It requires empathy, compassion, desire & drive.”
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