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Duke and Duchess of Sussex will cease to be patrons at some charities

23 Feb 2021 News

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Credit: Mark Jones (CC)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said they will not return to be senior members of the royal family, meaning they will leave many of their charity roles.

In March 2020 they started to transition from their royal roles and moved to California.

Last week the royal family issued a statement, saying: “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.”

This means some of their charity patronages will be redistributed to other members of the royal family. 

The Duke and Duchess also issued a statement, which suggested they would be continuing with some work in the UK: “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.”

Which patron roles might they leave?

In January 2019, Meghan became the patron of four organisations. These were the Association of Commonwealth Universities,  the National Theatre, animal wellbeing charity Mayhew, and Smart Works. 

She became the patron of the National Theatre after it was passed on to her from the Queen and also became the vice president of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, led by Prince Harry in the role of president.

Meghan has been stripped of her role as patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, a position she once said was “very important” to her.

Both Harry and Meghan will lose their roles as respective president and vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

It is yet to be confirmed which royal will take up these roles instead.

Which charities will they remain working with?

Children’s charity WellChild, which Prince Harry first worked with in 2011, has said they will continue to work with him.


Similarly, Harry will continue to be a patron for the Invictus Games, a charity he set up to help wounded service personnel. 

Meghan will remain a patron of Smart Works and Mayhew as these were arranged privately.

Mayhew said it looked forward to continuing to work with her. 


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