Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have responded after being stripped of their royal roles

(Image credit: AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle controversially stepped down from the royal family last year, losing their HRH titles and Sussex Royal brand, becoming financially independent and relocating to California with baby Archie.

The Sussex family has continued to grow in California, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirming the news last week that they are officially expecting their second child.

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The news unsurprisingly went viral, with some speculating that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may return to the royal fold after the birth of baby number two.

It was reported last week however that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have finalised their separation from the royal family, and they won't be returning as working members. As a result, the Queen has announced that their responsibilities will be removed and their appointments and patronages will be returned.

'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,' read a statement from Buckingham Palace.

'The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.'

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reacted to the news, releasing the statement:

'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.'

We will continue to update this story.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.