As the April 1 transition date for Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex approaches, the couple is preparing to officially step down from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Over the weekend, Meghan's royal title was removed from multiple charity websites, suggesting that by her last day as a senior royal, she'll be eschewing the 'Her Royal Highness' moniker for good. Royal watchers noticed that websites including Smart Works, The Association of Commonwealth Universities, and animal welfare charity Mayhew now refer to Meghan simply as Duchess of Sussex, versus 'HRH' or 'our royal patron.'
The change shouldn't come as a surprise since the agreement allowing them to step down as senior royals outlined in January included the stipulation that they would give up their royal titles. While Harry and Meghan will still be referred to as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (and Harry will still be a prince), neither will retain the more formal 'HRH' distinction. Additionally, they will no longer receive public funds or represent the Queen.
Despite losing her 'HRH' title, Meghan will reportedly continue to contribute to charities like Smart Works, an organization that provides business clothing to underprivileged women. The only difference is that she won't be undertaking her charitable work in a royal capacity. From now on, Meghan and Harry will essentially be free agents, although Harry has vowed that he will continue to support the Queen in everything that he does.
On Jan. 19, Harry spoke about his and Meghan's decision to exit the royal family during a speech at an event for the charity Sentebale. He shared that he had hoped to "to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding." Unfortunately, it simply wasn't possible for him to do so.
"I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am [to my duties]," he said. "But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life."
Meghan and Harry are already taking those steps forward. In addition to continuing to work with their favorite charities in a non-royal capacity, they're also beginning new collaborations, including Meghan's recent visit to the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver, Canada. Their 'HRH' monikers will soon be a thing of the past, but the couple appears committed to continuing to give back even as they adjust to their new way of life.