LONDON — London Fashion Week may be in full swing, but it’s Britain’s royal family, rather than designers, who’ve been grabbing much of the attention over the past few days.
After Buckingham Palace revealed Friday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be relieved of their royal patronages following their decision to pursue careers in the U.S., the couple made the following statement through a spokesperson.
“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 organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
The British press took the comment to be a swipe at Queen Elizabeth, who had long impressed upon Harry and Meghan that they could not carry out royal duties and represent the family if they were also going to be living and pursuing commercial jobs outside the country.
The couple left the U.K. a year ago, and since then have inked lucrative deals with Netflix and Spotify, and live in California. They’ll be talking to Oprah Winfrey next month, presumably about their new life and decision to separate from the royal family.
As reported on Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that “following conversations with the Duke of Sussex, 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.
“The honorary military appointments and royal patronages held by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of the Royal Family.”
The statement added that the couple would remain “much loved members of the family.” The Queen is expected to distribute the various patronages and charity roles to other members of the family, including to her daughter Princess Anne.
News of the couple’s final exit from royal life came just a few days after Harry’s grandfather, Prince Philip, checked himself into a London hospital for an undisclosed illness that’s not related to COVID-19. He’ll remain in the hospital well into next week, according to British media.
Harry’s cousin Princess Eugenie offered up some lighter news on Saturday morning when she made public the name of her newborn son with husband Jack Brooksbank. The baby, who was born on Feb. 9, is named August Philip Hawke Brooksbank. He will not hold a title, unless Queen Elizabeth decides to give him one.