Buckingham Palace reveals more information about Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry's transition out of senior royal roles

By Zach Harper, with files from Danielle Stacey and Heather Cichowski

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will carry out a number of engagements in March before departing from their senior positions in the Royal Family at the end of the month, Buckingham Palace has announced.

New details state that the couple's spring transition from royal life will begin on March 31. As of the following day, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be represented by their UK foundation team, since they will no longer be carrying out royal engagements on behalf of the Queen.

"As there is no precedent for this new model of working and eventual financial independence, the Royal family and The Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties," a spokesperson said, according to People.

Duchess Kate, Prince William, Harry and Meghan at Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in March 2019. Photo: © RICHARD POHLE/AFP via Getty Images

Before March 31, Harry and Meghan have a number of engagements where they will undertake work in their positions for the last time. Here's where we can expect to see the duke, duchess or both:

  • On Feb. 28, Prince Harry will attend the Invictus Games Choir Visit with Jon Bon Jovi.
  • On March 5, both Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry will attend the Endeavour Fund Awards for wounded, injured and sick service members and veterans.
  • On March 6, Harry will attend the opening of the Silverstone Experience with Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton.
  • On March 7, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will step out to the Mountbatten Music Festival at Royal Albert Hall. The annual event showcases the Royal Marines' military musicians. This is expected to be one of Harry's final engagements as Captain General of the Royal Marines, a title he must give up as part of his departure from his role. Princess Anne is said to be taking over the role, though that has not been confirmed by the Palace.
  • The Duchess of Sussex has plans to mark International Women's Day on March 8. It's not known whether she will attend an event, multiple events or honour the event in a different way. Last year, the duchess took part in a panel that included musician Annie Lennox, model and activist Adwoa Aboah, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Let Us Learn founder Chrisann Jarrett and the Campaign for Female Education's Executive Director Angeline Murimirwa. It was hosted by Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor of the Economist.
  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also attend Commonwealth Day services with the rest of the Royal Family on March 9 at Westminster Abbey. Earlier this month, the Queen asked the couple to return to the UK for that purpose.

  • On Jan. 8, the couple announced they would step down from their senior royal roles and work toward financial independence. Harry later attended talks with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William at Sandringham, in which the couple agreed they will retain their HRH titles but not use them. Harry will also retain his titles of Major, Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader, but will not use them during the initial 12-month trial period of this arrangement and will not perform duties associated with the roles.

    The Royal Family at Trooping the Colour in 2019. Photo: © DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

    These new details about Harry and Meghan's future come as reports say the Sussexes are in discussions about their use of the word "royal." The talks reportedly involve the Queen and senior officials, according to the Daily Mail. They are thought to focus specifically on whether the Sussexes will use "royal" as part of their branding for their new non-profit initiative.

    MORE: Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry in talks about their use of the word 'royal': report

    Harry and Meghan had wanted to call it Sussex Royal, but it's thought the word "royal" will not be part of the couple's future branding, according to CNN. The Sussexes currently use the @SussexRoyal Instagram handle and their official website was launched at Sussexroyal.com after announcing their decision to step down from their senior roles in January.

    "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be spending their time in both the United Kingdom and North America," a spokesperson said in a statement to People. "In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the U.K. and the Commonwealth throughout the year, The Duke and Duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish a new non-profit organization. The details of this new organization will be shared later in the year.

    "In general, the themes of their cause related work will remain unchanged, which includes the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively."

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