Queen Elizabeth told Prince Harry ‘the monarchy doesn’t work for you’

The Queen stood firm in Megxit talks, according to palace insiders (Picture: Reuters/ Getty)

The Queen told Prince Harry ‘you work for the monarchy, the monarchy doesn’t work for you’, in a sharp rebuke during Megxit talks, palace sources claim.

It was announced on Friday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be stripped of their remaining patronages and titles, meaning their departure from the royal family is permanent.

A statement from Buckingham Palace said the couple could not continue ‘the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service’ while pursuing commercial interests.

Since Harry and Meghan quit as senior working royals in March last year, they have signed deals with Spotify and  Netflix estimated to be worth more than £100 million.

The couple had wanted to continue with limited royal duties while starting a financially independent life outside the monarchy after moving to the US, but the Queen is said to have put her foot down during tense talks on the matter.

The couple were reportedly told that their commercial interests were incompatible with the role of public servants who need to remain impartial.

Queen Elizabeth told her grandson he could not pursue commercial interests and retain his royal titles (Picture: Reuters)

According to the Daily Mail, one official said Her Majesty was blunt in making this clear to her grandson, telling him: ‘You work for the monarchy, the monarchy doesn’t work for you’.

Tensions over the couple’s ‘half in half out’ role in the royal family are said to have brewed behind the scenes for some time.

‘The direction of travel has been clear for a while,’ one insider said. ‘The Queen has been very clear from the start that this ‘half in, half out’ model demanded by the Sussexes wouldn’t work and hasn’t deviated from that. Not once.

‘Their original idea was to have a ‘third way’ of being a royal. And the Queen has said quite simply ‘no, you can’t’.’

Harry and Meghan

Harry wanted to keep his treasured military titles (Picture: Getty)

A source said Harry and Meghan had ‘absolutely, no question’ wanted to keep the positions they had lost, which are in military, arts, Commonwealth and sporting organisations.

Harry was particularly known to treasure his honorary title as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

He will also lose his role as Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving.

The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, The Rugby Football Union, The Rugby Football League, The Royal National Theatre and The Association of Commonwealth Universities will also be taken back.



What have Harry and Meghan lost?

Harry:

Former soldier Harry, who served on the frontline in Afghanistan, is no longer the Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, or Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving.

He has also had to relinquish his role as president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

The Duke will no longer be patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League – roles which he took over from the Queen.

Harry is also no longer patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust.

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.

He so far retains the following private patronages or presidencies: African Parks, Dolen Cymru, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, Invictus Games, MapAction, Rhino Conservation Botswana charity, Sentebale, and WellChild.

It is not yet known whether Harry will retain his two other rugby-related patronages of the Rugby Football Union All Schools Programme and the Rugby Football Union Injured Players Foundation.

Meghan:

The Queen handed Meghan two royal patronages in 2019, but the duchess loses these: The Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Meghan also has to give up her role as vice-president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

She keeps her two private patronages: Smart Works and animal charity Mayhew.

‘They do respect the decision but they always made clear they were committed to doing those roles,’ the source said.

The announcement came after the 12-month review of the couple’s decision to step down as working royals.

Buckingham Palace said that ‘all are saddened’ by Harry and Meghan’s exit from royal life, but they ‘remain much-loved members of the family’.

The full statement said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty the Queen that they will not be returning as working members of the royal family.

‘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.’

A spokesperson for Harry and Meghan released a separate statement confirming their commitment to the organisations they were patrons of.

They said: ‘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.’

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