Harry and Meghan: Family is prince’s ‘number one priority,’ says JJ Chalmers

Earl and Countess step down. Harry and Meghan: Family is prince’s ‘number one priority.  The announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aka the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton, ,  will not return as working members of the Royal Family is not a shock, according to friend of Prince Harry and former Royal Marine, JJ Chalmers, son of the Very Rev John Chalmers, former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and minister of Renton Trinity Church in West Dunbartonshire. He said that “not much has changed” since the announcement they would step back as senior royals last January.

The Scottish Sun reported that the  94-year-old monarch said she was “saddened” after her grandson and the Duchess of Sussex confirmed they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.

Just moments after Buckingham Palace said the couple would be officially stepping down, Harry and pregnant Meghan released a statement saying they would “remain committed” to the UK.

Today’s Megxit announcement – released 11 months after the couple stepped back from their roles as senior royals – was made after conversations between The Duke of Sussex and Members of The Royal Family, the palace said.

Harry and Meghan’s decision puts extra strain on the family when 99-year-old Prince Philip is in hospital after feeling unwell – with Harry believed to be isolating in the US so he can return to the UK if needed.

In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.

“Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service.

“The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.

“While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”

It comes as….

  • The Sussexes confirmed they were officially quitting in a statement but insisted “service is universal”
  • The decision to officially quit could pave the way for more megabucks deals for the couple
  • Prince Harry will no longer represent England Rugby as patron
  • The 36-year-old prince won’t be able to wear his military uniform after losing his honorary titles
  • An expert said the couple’s statement “lacked any love”
  • Prince Philip will remain in hospital into next week after feeling unwell
  • Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced they were expecting another baby – making son Archie a big brother
  • The couple will be interviewed by Oprah in a primetime special to be aired next month
  • Harry is said to be isolating in LA so he is able to return to the UK after the Duke of Edinburgh was admitted to hospital

Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, who are living in the US as they await the arrival of their new baby, then released a statement saying “service is universal”.

A spokesperson for the couple said: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex 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. Service is universal.”

The palace confirmed the couple would lose their patronages, with Harry being stripped of his honorary military titles as part of the agreement.

However, but they will still be known as Duke and Duchess of Sussex after being given the titles as a wedding gift at their 2018 nuptials at Windsor Castle.

They had previously agreed to no longer use their HRH titles as part of the initial Megxit agreement.

Meghan and Harry last year announced they were quitting as royals, saying they wanted to become financially independent.

Since then, they have moved to the US and signed a string of multi-million pound deals including a rumoured $112 million deal with Netflix.

They have also started their own foundation, Archewell, and launched a podcast series with Spotify believed to be worth £30m.

And they are next expected to sit down in a tell-all chat with Oprah Winfrey in an interview to be aired on CBS next month.

It means Harry will no longer hold his military titles including The Royal Marines, RAF Honington, Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving.

He is also no longer the patron of England Rugby.

Meghan also lost her patronages with The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities.

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