People (USA)

Their Final Exit from Royal Life

- —SIMON PERRY

As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry embrace life in California with 22-month-old son Archie and a second baby on the way, another chapter has officially closed. On Feb. 19 Buckingham Palace announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family . . . all are saddened by their decision.” The statement added that Harry’s grandmothe­r Queen Elizabeth, 94, decreed that in stepping away from royal work “it is not possible to continue with the responsibi­lities and duties that come with a life of public service.”

The move was expected a year after the couple first left the U.K., but Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, countered with a statement of their own, saying, “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.” The pushback reportedly ruffled feathers at the palace. “There is a difference between philanthro­py and public service,” a royal source says of the Queen’s view. “Philanthro­py is great—earning money and doing good works—and should be encouraged. ‘I’m not here for myself, I’m here for you’—that’s public service.” (Others say the couple would not have pushed back had the palace statement simply referred to “royal” service.) Still, adds the royal source, “there is a very strong family bond.”

For their part, the couple were “disappoint­ed” not to be able to keep their royal patronages and Harry’s military appointmen­ts, says a source close to them, but “they respect the decision that was reached.”

‘THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHILANTHRO­PY AND PUBLIC SERVICE’

—A ROYAL SOURCE

 ??  ?? A Fresh Start
Meghan and Harry appeared in a virtual Spotify event on Feb. 22 to promote their podcast venture Archewell Audio. Inset: the Queen.
A Fresh Start Meghan and Harry appeared in a virtual Spotify event on Feb. 22 to promote their podcast venture Archewell Audio. Inset: the Queen.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA