The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will begin their new life away from the royal family from March 31.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s office have released an update about their plans and said the duke will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader. The Sussexes will announce details of their new non-profit organisation later in the year, a spokeswoman for the couple said.
A number of royal engagements were also announced, with Harry due to attend an Invictus Games event with pop star Jon Bon Jovi on February 28. Meghan will then mark International Women’s Day a week later, with the couple’s final official engagement coming alongside the entire royal family at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey on March 9 before their Buckingham Palace office closes on April 1.
The spokeswoman said the Sussexes would continue to work with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the UK and the Commonwealth throughout the year. Harry and Meghan have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish their new non-profit organisation.
Last month they plunged the royal family into crisis by announcing plans to step down as senior members and strive for financial independence. A summit of senior royals was convened by the Queen at Sandringham to discuss the issue, with Harry sitting down for talks with his grandmother, father the Prince of Wales and brother the Duke of Cambridge.
It was later announced they would split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America, and no longer be known as HRH. It had been suggested the couple’s Sussex Royal brand, based on the title which started from their Instagram page, could be worth an ‘absolute fortune’ and they have registered it as a trademark internationally on items including clothing, stationery, books and teaching materials.
However, it has since emerged that Harry and Meghan’s future use of the term ‘royal’ on merchandise ‘needed to be reviewed’, with discussions understood to be ongoing.