Prince Harry and Meghan arrive at the Royal Albert Hall in London. File / AP
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Friday that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will not be returning to royal duties, and Harry will give up his honorary military titles - a decision that makes formal, and final, the couple's split from the royal family.
When Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in early 2020, it was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year.
Now it has, and the palace said in a statement that the couple, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have verified "they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family. "
Prince Harry and Meghan leave after visiting Canada House in London. File / AP
It said Queen Elizabeth II had spoken to Harry and confirmed "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 palace said Harry’s appointment as captain general of the Royal Marines and titles with other military groups would revert to the queen before being distributed to other members of the family.
Harry, who served in the British army for a decade and has a close bond with the military, founded the Invictus Games competition for wounded troops.
"While all are saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family,” the palace statement said.
American actress Meghan Markle, a former star of the TV legal drama "Suits,” married Harry, a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Their son, Archie, was born a year later.
In early 2020, Meghan and Harry announced they were quitting royal duties and moving to North America, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions
and racist attitudes of the British media. They live in Santa Barbara, California and are expecting their second child. They recently announced that they will speak to Oprah Winfrey in a TV special to be broadcast next month.
A spokesperson for the couple hit back at suggestions that Meghan and Harry were not devoted to duty.
"As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role,” the spokesperson said in a statement. "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
"I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago,” Harry said, adding, "because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.”
Thomas Markle described the royal family as "one of the greatest long-living institutions ever," saying that when Meghan married Harry in May 2018 they took an obligation "to be part of the royals and to represent the royals."
When extraordinary people opt for an “ordinary” life, they sometimes end up paying a royal price. That sort of sums up the “Megxit” crisis, which began on Jan.8 when Prince Harry
"Lili is named after her great-grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet. Her middle name, Diana, was chosen to honour her beloved late grandmother, The Princess of Wales," said a statement from the couple.
The National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) has expected the weather on Friday to be fair to partly cloudy and hazy at times during daytime, with a chance of some convective clouds formation by afternoon eastward.
The first regular flight from Lahore to Dubai is due late on Thursday night while many passengers and their relatives took to social media to highlight the unavailability of rapid test facilities for the passengers at major airports in Pakistan.
The Federal Identity and Citizenship Authority (ICA) on Thursday reviewed the features and advantages of the second generation of the Emirates ID that go in line with the concept of overall digital transformation in the UAE.
Passengers travelling from countries where flights had been banned were allowed to transit through UAE airports from Aug.5 as long as they present a negative PCR test taken 72 hours prior to departure.