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Prince Harry and Meghan to officially start new lives away from royal family next month

The couple will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace, a spokeswoman said.
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LONDON — Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will officially begin their new lives away from the royal family March 31, a spokeswoman for the couple said Wednesday.

As a result, the couple will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace, the spokeswoman told Britain's Press Association news agency.

She said talks involving senior officials were ongoing about Harry and Meghan's use of the word "royal" in their "Sussex Royal" branding following their decision to step down from official duties. A change will be announced alongside the launch of the couple's nonprofit organization later this year, she said.

Harry will also keep his military ranks of major, lieutenant commander and squadron leader, and the royal couple will also continue to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton and the Baron and Baroness Kilkeel.

The Sussexes stunned the public when they announced last month that they intended to "step back" from the royal family, divide their time between the United Kingdom and North America and start paying their own bills.

A dramatic week followed as the palace announced that Queen Elizabeth II wanted to quickly come to an agreement on the couple's future. Harry met with his grandmother; his father, Prince Charles; and his elder brother, Prince William, at her Sandringham estate.

It was later announced that they would no longer be senior royals, that they would split their time between Canada and the U.K., with the majority spent in North America, and that they no longer be known as his and her royal highnesses.

A few days later, Harry said that the decision to step back was not one he had made lightly and that it brought him "great sadness that it has come to this."

"There really was no other option," he said at an event for Sentebale, a charity he co-founded, which helps children affected by HIV in Africa.

The couple have been living on picturesque Vancouver Island in the northeastern Pacific Ocean just off the coast of British Columbia.

Their departure from royal duties marked the end of a tumultuous period for the couple, which saw them criticized in some quarters for an appearance in a documentary by the British broadcaster ITV, in which they spoke about family rifts and the pressures they have been facing.

The couple have also been battling the British tabloids.

Shortly after the birth of Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor in May, the pair sued The Mail on Sunday's parent company, Associated Newspapers, after the tabloid published a private letter Meghan wrote to her father.