Harry and Meghan to start new life away from royal family next month

Harry and Meghan to start new life away from royal family next month

LONDON — Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, will officially begin their new life away from the royal family on Mar. 31, a spokeswoman for the couple said Wednesday.

As a result the couple will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace, the spokeswoman told Britain’s Press Association news agency.

She said that talks involving senior officials were ongoing about the use Harry and Meghan's use of the word royal in their “Sussex Royal” branding following their decision to step down from official duties. A change will be announced alongside the launch of the couple’s new nonprofit organization later this year, she said.

Prince Harry will also retain his army ranks of major, lieutenant commander and squadron leader, and the royal couple will also continue to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as by their titles the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton and the Baron and Baroness Kilkeel.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stunned their subjects when they announced last month that they intended to "step back" from the royal family, divide their time between the United Kingdom and North America and start paying their own bills.

A dramatic week followed as the palace announced that the queen wanted to quickly come to an agreement on the couple's future. Harry met with his grandmother; his father, Prince Charles; and his elder brother, Prince William, at her Sandringham estate.

It was later announced they would no longer be members of the monarchy, split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America, and no longer be known as his and her royal highness.

A few days later Harry that the decision to step back was not one that he made lightly and that it brought him "great sadness that it has come to this."

"There really was no other option," he said at an event for Sentebale, a charity he co-founded, which helps children affected by HIV in Africa.

The couple have been living on the picturesque Vancouver Island, located in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada.

Their departure from royal duties marked the end of a tumultuous period for the couple, which saw them criticized in some quarters for an appearance in a documentary by the British broadcaster ITV, in which they spoke about the pressures they have been facing and family rifts.

The couple have also been battling the British tabloids.

Shortly after the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May, the pair sued The Mail on Sunday's parent company, Associated Newspapers, after the tabloid published a private letter written by Meghan to her father.