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What next for Harry and Meghan? Here’s everything we know so far

Ever since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to “step back” from the royal family, speculation about what their future holds has been rife.

On 8 January, the couple released a statement on Instagram revealing their plans to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution”. 

Shortly after, Buckingham Palace released a statement clarifying that discussions about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s future were “at an early stage”.

Now, following a crisis meeting with the Queen at Sandringham Estate on Monday, it has been revealed that the couple will split their time between the UK and North America. They will also drop their respective HRH titles.

From where Harry and Meghan will live to how they will fund their lifestyles, here’s everything we know about the couple’s future so far.

What will Harry and Meghan be known as without their HRH titles?

The Queen’s statement revealed that the couple will lose their HRH titles, meaning they can no longer be referred to as his or her royal highness because they are not working members of the royal family. 

However, the couple will maintain their Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, from the spring.

Where will they live?

In the couple’s initial statement, Harry and Meghan revealed they would split their time between the UK and North America.

The Palace has said that Frogmore Cottage in Windsor will remain the couple’s UK home, though it’s not clear how much time they intend to spend there, with reports suggesting Meghan is already looking at homes in Vancouver Island, which is where the couple spent their Christmas break.

Another location the couple are said to be considering is Toronto, which is where Meghan lived for six years while filming the legal drama Suits in which she starred. Toronto is also the home of one of Meghan’s closest friends, Jessica Mulroney, whose children were given roles in the royal wedding as page boys and flower girls.

How will they fund their lifestyle?

In their initial announcement, Meghan and Harry made it clear they wish to become “financially independent” and in the Palace’s latest statement, the monarch stated the couple will “no longer receive public funds for Royal duties”.

It added the couple will repay sovereign grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which cost £2.4 million in public funds.

As for how they will earn money moving forward, the “funding” section of Harry and Meghan’s website states they will “work externally” but does not specify what kind of work this will entail.

Harry and Meghan to no longer use HRH style

However, since announcing their decision to leave the royal family, the couple has been inundated with offers of employment from every kind of industry, including entertainment and security. Recently, even Netflix expressed their interest in working with the couple.

Will they continue to work with charities?

According to the Palace’s statement, the Sussexes will “continue to maintain their private patronages and associations” with the Queen’s blessing.

The couple’s patronages are listed on their website. Harry’s patronages are an eclectic mix of those supporting animal rights, the military, sport, and Wellchild, which provides care to chronically unwell children.

Meghan is a patron for The National Theatre, animal rescue charity Mayhew and Smart Works, which supports unemployed women return to the workforce.

How will they be protected?

It is not yet clear how the couple’s security will be funded.

Initially, Harry and Meghan claimed to be classified as “internationally protected people” on their website, but this claim has since been removed, prompting questions about how the couple will fund security abroad.

The concept of internationally protected people was introduced into British law in the 1978 Internationally Protected Persons Act. It was designed to afford “special protection” to heads of state, people representing the head of state, prime ministers, foreign ministers and diplomats.

Buckingham Palace had refused to comment on the details of security arrangements for the couple, stating only: “There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.”

Commenting on the matter to The Times, Jan Wouters, professor of international law at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, said: “Harry and Meghan want to move away from carrying out royal duties and become purely private people. Therefore it is highly debatable whether they are legally entitled to the status of internationally protected people.

“International protection will not continue if you withdraw into a purely private life. The logical conclusion is that there will have to be a bilateral agreement between Britain and Canada to provide for their security.”

When will these changes come into place?

Buckingham Palace has said the new model for Harry and Meghan will take effect in the spring but no exact date or month has been specified.

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