Accepting — and embracing — their new normal. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are “relieved” that their time working for the royal family is officially over, a source exclusively tells Us Weekly.
“Harry and Meghan finally feel free,” the royal insider tells Us, noting that the couple feels like “they have so much to look forward to.”
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday, February 19, that Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, informed Queen Elizabeth II that “they will not be returning as working members of the royal family.” The news comes more than one year after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced plans to step back from their royal duties. The pair, who announced earlier this month that Meghan is pregnant with baby No. 2, subsequently moved to California.
“Harry and Meghan have achieved success beyond their wildest dreams in the U.S. and are settled and much more content living in Montecito, doing their own thing,” the insider says. “They are determined to raise their children in a normal, stable environment, out of the spotlight, which would’ve [been] impossible if they’d remained royals.”
The source adds that the twosome, who share 21-month-old son Archie, are content with their decision even though it means they will no longer have their figurehead positions in various charities they previously worked for.
“Obviously, they’ll lose royal patronages, but understand that they can’t have it both ways. And from their point of view, it’s not the end of the world,” the source says. “They’ve already made their mark in the US and will continue being philanthropists, working with charities that are close to their heart – veterans, mental health, homelessness, Black Lives Matter and more.”
The palace addressed the status of Harry and Meghan’s royal patronages in Friday’s statement.
“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 statement read. “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.”
The 94-year-old monarch added, “While we are all saddened by their decision, the duke and duchess remain much-loved members of the family.”
A spokesperson for the couple also spoke to in a statement to Us: “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”