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Harry and Meghan to drop HRH titles and repay taxpayers' millions

PUBLISHED: 21:07 18 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:35 19 January 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who are to no longer use their HRH titles and will repay £2.4 million of taxpayers money spent on renovating their Berkshire home, the couple have announced, as talks about their future roles concluded. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex who are to no longer use their HRH titles and will repay £2.4 million of taxpayers money spent on renovating their Berkshire home, the couple have announced, as talks about their future roles concluded. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have walked away from the monarchy, issuing an unprecedented statement that outlines how they will "no longer formally represent the Queen".

Harry and Meghan will stop carrying out royal duties from the spring, will stop using HRH and will repay the taxpayers' millions spent on their Berkshire home.

The announcement marks the conclusion of talks about their future with senior members of the family and royal aides.

The Queen issued an emotional statement saying she recognised the "challenges" they had faced over the past year, adding: "I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.

"It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

The couple's spokeswoman issued a statement on their behalf saying: "As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from royal duties, including official military appointments.

"They will no longer receive public funds for royal duties.

"With the Queen's blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations.

"While they can no longer formally represent the Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."

The Queen's statement included a personal tribute to the Sussexes with the monarch unusually using the first names of her grandson and his family in a public message.

She said: "Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.

"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family."

The Queen, who took control of the crisis that threatened to permanently damage the monarchy, concluded by saying: "It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."

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