Prince Harry was today stripped of his honorary roles as patron of England Rugby Union and Rugby League after it was confirmed he and Meghan Markle will step down as working royals.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have told the Queen they will not be returning to frontline duties following their year outside the Firm.
Buckingham Palace said their decision meant ‘it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service’.
Within minutes of the announcement, several sporting bodies released their own statements confirming they had parted ways with the Sussexes.
Among them was England Rugby, who thanked Prince Harry for his ‘time and commitment’ to the Rugby Football Union as both patron and vice patron.
Pictured: Prince Harry gives the opening speech at the Rugby World Cup in 2015
Within minutes of the announcement the royals would not return to the Firm, several sporting bodies released their own statements confirming they had parted ways with the Sussexes
They said: ‘Prince Harry will be stepping down from his role as RFU Patron. We would like to thank Prince Harry for his time and commitment to the RFU both in his position as Patron and Vice Patron.
‘The RFU has greatly valued his contribution to promoting and supporting the game.’
Only this month the Duke recorded a video for England Rugby to mark the 150th anniversary of the first international match against Scotland.
He had also held the role of patron with the Rugby Football League since July 2017, which this afternoon parted ways with a tweet.
It said: ‘The Rugby Football League thanks The Duke of Sussex for his time, care and commitment in supporting Rugby League at all levels in recent years – from the children’s game to the Challenge Cup, the England teams and RLWC2021.’
Pictured: Prince Harry shakes hands with James Haskell during England open training in 2018
Pictured: The Duke of Sussex with Jonny Wilkinson during the Six Nations in February 2018
It is not yet clear whether Harry will retain his patronages of the Rugby Football Union All Schools Programme and the Rugby Football Union Injured Players Foundation
It is not yet clear whether Harry will retain his patronages of the Rugby Football Union All Schools Programme and the Rugby Football Union Injured Players Foundation.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes said today: ‘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.’
Harry is also no longer patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have told the Queen they will not be returning to frontline duties following their year outside the Firm. Pictured: The Buckingham Palace statement
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior working royals in March 2020 to earn their own money in the US, where they have signed deals with Spotify and Netflix estimated to be worth more than £100million
The role was on a three-year term, which was renewed twice, covering nine years. It came to an end in January, and it was decided it would not be renewed.
The Invictus Games, which was the brainchild of the Duke, released a statement confirming he would stay as its patron, as it was not a royal role.
It said: ‘We are proud to have The Duke of Sussex as our Patron. The Invictus Games was founded by him, it has been built on his ideas and he remains fully committed to both the Games and to the Invictus Games Foundation.’
The roles and patronages Harry and Meghan will no longer have
- Royal Marines
- RAF Honington
- Royal Navy Small Ships and Diving
- The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust
- The Rugby Football Union
- The Rugby Football League
- The Royal National Theatre
- The Association of Commonwealth Universities
He also retains the following private patronages or presidencies: African Parks, Dolen Cymru, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, MapAction, Rhino Conservation Botswana charity, Sentebale, and WellChild.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit as senior working royals in March 2020 to earn their own money in the US, where they have signed deals with Spotify and Netflix estimated to be worth more than £100million.
Stepping down as working royals also means the couple, who now live in an £11million mansion in Montecito, California, will not be able to hold on to their military, Commonwealth and some other patronages.
The couple, who announced on Sunday that they expecting their second child, are poised for their ‘intimate’ interview about their lives with chat show queen Oprah Winfrey on March 7.
It was announced today that they had confirmed to the Queen they would not be returning as working members of the Royal Family.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘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.’