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Queen Elizabeth II ‘Was Hoping’ Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Would Return to the Royal Family (Exclusive)

Not the outcome she wanted. After their step back from the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II believed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle might resume their duties. However, the couple could not be convinced.

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Relationship Timeline

“The queen was hoping that they’d return, but there is not much she can do about it and accepts their decision,” a royal insider exclusively tells Us Weekly of the Friday, February 19, announcement that Harry and Meghan have permanently relinquished their roles.

While the 94-year-old monarch had not given up on the possibility of their return, the pair were ready to move on. “After lengthy discussions with the palace, Harry and Meghan have quit being royals for good,” the source adds. “It was their choice to leave.”

Queen Elizabeth II Hoping Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Would Return to Royal Family
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry. David Fisher/Shutterstock

Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, initially revealed their decision to step away from their roles as senior members of the royal family in January 2020, completing their duties that March and relocating to her native California. Buckingham Palace announced on Friday that they will not return to their royal positions.

Related: How Meghan Hid Her Bump Ahead of Pregnancy Announcement

“The duke and duchess have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family,” the statement read. “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.”

Related: Stars React to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Step Down

The queen then reaffirmed Harry and Meghan’s standing in the family. “While we are all saddened by their decision, the duke and duchess remain much-loved members of the family,” the statement concluded.

A spokesperson for the prince and the former actress, meanwhile, told Us in a statement on Friday, “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.”

Harry and Meghan tied the knot in May 2018 and are parents of son Archie, 21 months. They revealed on Sunday, February 14, that they are expecting their second child together after suffering a miscarriage in July 2020.

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