Although Prince Harry and Meghan no longer use their coveted His/Her Highness titles, they will retain them — along with their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.

By Lindsay Kimble
February 19, 2021 at 08:31 AM EST
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will officially not be returning to their royal roles, Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Friday.

As was speculated, the couple — who left full-time royal work in March of last year — will no longer keep their patronages, a.k.a. their royal involvement with numerous U.K. charities.

"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," the Buckingham Palace statement said.

Continued the statement, "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."

Further, Prince Harry, 36, will lose his honorary military appointments, which will subsequently be redistributed "among working members of The Royal Family."

Other trusts and patronages that will revert to the Queen, 94, include the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the Rugby Football Union, the Rugby Football League, the Royal National Theatre, and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Although Prince Harry and Meghan, 39, no longer use their coveted His/Her Highness titles, they will retain them — along with their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles.

"While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family," the Buckingham Palace announcement said.

In their own statement about the news, Prince Harry and Meghan's office said that the pair "remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role."

"We can all live a life of service. Service is universal," the statement read.

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The couple's probation period was originally not set to come to a close until March 31.

Ahead of the announcement, palace sources told PEOPLE that the challenge of keeping the royal roles stems from the couple's commercial relationships with companies like Netflix and Spotify — partnerships that have helped them become financially independent. However, the Queen's view is that members of the royal family can't be "half in, half out" — that is, representing the Queen and the U.K. while also pursuing personal financial goals.

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A source previously noted to PEOPLE, "It was clear to her from the start that a hybrid role is not an option."

Despite loses his military titles — which another source told PEOPLE would upset Harry — he would still have his Invictus Games Foundation, the Paralympic-style contests for service members which also incorporates the Endeavour Fund. He also retains his personal charity Sentebale, which he set up with friend Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to help combat the HIV/AIDS pandemic in southern Africa. Harry will additionally continue to work with WellChild, which aids sick children and their families.

Meghan will retain animal welfare charity Mayhew, and Smart Works Charity, which provides women with professional attire for career opportunities.

The news comes shortly after Harry and Meghan announced that they're expecting their second child together.

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This story originally appeared on people.com

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