Keeping it casual. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dropped their royal titles in a charity letter dated June 19, signing off simply as “Harry & Meghan.” Already, followers of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might be wondering what the informal shift means—the truth is, it’s something they’ve been trying for a while.
Ever since Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, announced their plans to step back from the royal family in January 2020, they have been fielding difficult decisions about their post-royal life. The Sussexes made the choice to move to California, and with that, came a laundry list of privileges they needed to give up: their Buckingham Palace staff, their Frogmore Cottage Estate, and the British taxpayer funds that were used to renovate it. Most surprising was the Queen’s order that they longer use their “royal” titles in their future branding or professional efforts.
To be clear, that order only included their “Royal Highness” prefixes. As their website indicates, “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer actively use their HRH titles as they will no longer be working members of the family as of Spring 2020.” But that doesn’t include their status as Sussexes, which is why even their site still refers to them as the Duke and Duchess.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Even so, Meghan and Harry have been opting for an even more laid-back approach recently. In their letter to StreetGames, a sports and recreation charity based in the U.K., the Sussexes wrote to CEO Jane Ashworth on a first-name basis. “We wanted to write and express our heartfelt thanks to the team at StreetGames following their support delivering Hubb Community Kitchen meals throughout London. To know that North Paddington Youth Club, Solidarity Sports and St. Matthews Project distributed hundreds of freshly prepared meals across their networks of young people over the last few months is fantastic,” their letter began.
The Sussexes went on to commend StreetGames’ network for their “goodwill” and “their kindness and selflessness that inspires others to do better.” After thanking the organization, the pair kept their signature short and sweet: “Harry & Meghan,” it read.
It isn’t the first time that the ex-royals decided to take a more casual approach. In February 2020, Prince Harry asked that he be introduced as “just Harry” at a speaking opportunity in Scotland. Nothing wrong with being too humble!