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Royal duties end in March

Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, will officially step down as senior members of Britain's royal family on March 31.

The couple shocked fans last month when they announced their intention to retreat from life in the spotlight and live part-time in North America.

Queen Elizabeth II publicly gave her grandson and his wife her blessing, and previously revealed the transition would take place in the spring.

On Wednesday, it was revealed the Duke and Duchess will officially step down from their positions at the end of March, and start their new independent life on April 1.

Prior to retiring from royal duties, Harry and Meghan, who have been lying low on Vancouver Island in recent weeks, will return to the U.K. for six events, concluding with the Queen's Commonwealth Service in London on March 9.

Their office at royal residence Buckingham Palace will close on March 31, and they will henceforth be represented by officials at their planned U.K. charity foundation.

"The Duke and Duchess will be spending their time in both the United Kingdom and North America," a spokesperson for the pair shares.

"In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the U.K. and the Commonwealth throughout the year, The Duke and Duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish a new non-profit organization. The details of this new organization will be shared later in the year.

"In general, the themes of their cause related work will remain unchanged, which includes the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively."

Harry and Meghan's roles as they relate to the royal family will be reviewed in a year: "As there is no precedent for this new model of working and eventual financial independence, the Royal Family and The Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties," the representative adds.

As part of the agreement with the Queen, the Sussexes, who wed in 2018, will retain the titles of His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness, although they will not use them for any official duties.

There will also be no change to the line of succession, with Harry, 35, remaining sixth in line to the throne, behind his father Prince Charles, brother Prince William, and his nephews and nieces, Princes George and Louis, and Princess Charlotte.



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