Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's current and former patronages react as the couple confirm they won't return as working members of the Royal Family

By Heather Cichowski and Zach Harper

Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have officially confirmed they will not return as working members of the Royal Family. As a result of their decision, Buckingham Palace says the couple will return their honourary military appointments and royal patronages.

The couple also have a number of privately-held patronages that are not affected by their decision. The Duke of Sussex will continue to work with the Invictus Games Foundation, for example, while the Duchess of Sussex will continue to be a patron of animal rescue charity Mayhew.

Duchess Meghan will no longer be patron of The National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities. The pregnant royal will no longer serve as vice-president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust. But she will retain Smart Works and animal rescue charity Mayhew as patronages because they are privately held. The duke will also no longer be president of The Queen's Commonwealth Trust.

Duchess Meghan looks at bags with Lady Juliet Hughes-Hallett during a visit to Smart Works in London on Jan. 10, 2019. Photo: © Clodagh Kilcoyne - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The patronages the Duke of Sussex will be losing are: Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League and the London Marathon Charitable Trust. He will retain his patronages and presidencies with organizations including African Parks, Invictus Games, Dolen Cymru, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, MapAction, Rhino Conservation Botswana, Sentebale and WellChild, because they are privately held.

As a result of the decision, Harry will also give up a number of honourary military appointments. He will no longer serve as Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington or the Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands' Small Ships and Diving.

After Buckingham Palace shared the announcement about the Sussexes' decision, many of their patronages expressed their thanks on social media.

"The National Theatre is very grateful for the support offered by The Duchess of Sussex throughout the course of her patronage," the organization said in a statement on Twitter. "The Duchess championed our work with communities and young people across the UK, and our mission to make theatre accessible to all."

The Queen's Commonwealth Trust penned a lengthy statement about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's contributions.

"The Queen's Commonwealth Trust exists to support young people around the world who are delivering practical help to those who need it most," the statement began. "We have been very lucky to have had the keen support and encouragement of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex in our formative years.

"They have enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organization to readiness for its next phase.

"We are glad that they remain in our circle of supporters.

"Our focus, as always, is on the young people we work alongside. We will be pressing on with vigour to help them reach even more people with the essential services they provide."

"Prince Harry will be stepping down from his role as RFU Patron," announced England Rugby.

"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."

"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," that organization said.

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 also shared its own message.

"We'd like to thank the Duke of Sussex for his immense contribution to RLWC2021, launching our Mental Fitness Charter and conducting the first ever public Rugby League World Cup draw last year," it tweeted.

Jon Dutton, the Chief Executive of RLWC2021, also tweeted his thanks to Prince Harry.

"A personal thank you to the Duke of Sussex for his sincere support of @RLWC2021 including undertaking the tournament draws and launching our Mental Fitness Charter," he penned. "Both significant moments in our short history."

Some of the patronages that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex retained are also expressing their gratitude and happiness they will be able to continue.

"We are delighted to confirm that The Duchess of Sussex will remain a Patron of Smart Works," said the clothing and coaching non-profit. "We are thankful for everything she has done in support of our clients and look forward to working together in the future."

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