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Queen ends Harry and Meghan’s official roles in Commonwealth

The Sussexes have been stripped by the monarch of their positions as president and vice-president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle depart following the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London, in 2018 (Joe Giddens/PA)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle depart following the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London, in 2018 (Joe Giddens/PA)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle depart following the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey, London, in 2018 (Joe Giddens/PA)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were hailed as the new royal stars of the Commonwealth ahead of their wedding.

They pledged themselves to a lifetime of work with the global family of 54 nations, which Queen, as head of the Commonwealth, holds in such high regard.

But now Harry and Meghan’s official roles associated with the Commonwealth are at an end.

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Meghan and Harry speak to guests at a women’s empowerment reception during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018 (Chris Jackson/PA)

Meghan and Harry speak to guests at a women’s empowerment reception during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018 (Chris Jackson/PA)

PA

Meghan and Harry speak to guests at a women’s empowerment reception during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018 (Chris Jackson/PA)

As the finale to Megxit, both Harry and Meghan have been stripped by the monarch of their positions as president and vice-president of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust (QCT).

The independent organisation was set up in April 2018 in recognition of the Queen’s lifetime of service to others and her love for the Commonwealth.

The QCT works to champion, fund and connect young leaders around the world who are driving positive social change.

The body thanked Harry and Meghan for their past involvement, adding: “We are glad that they remain in our circle of supporters.”

In March 2020 when the Sussexes quit as senior working royals, Harry had to give up his position as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador – a prestigious role which was handed to him by his grandmother.

In his engagement interview he had pledged that the couple would devote most of their time working with young people in the Commonwealth.

Harry said: “Both of us have passions for wanting to make change, change for good, and with lots of young people running around the Commonwealth, that’s where we’re going to spend most of our time hopefully.”

Meghan, who became the first mixed race person to marry a senior royal in modern history, added: “I’m excited to just really get to know more about the different communities here, smaller organisations who are working on the same causes that I’ve always been passionate about under this umbrella, and also being able to go round the Commonwealth. I think it’s just the beginning.”

So central to their royal lives was the Commonwealth meant to be that former Suits star Meghan took part in her first ever official event with the Queen at the Commonwealth Day Service in Westminster Abbey in 2018, ahead of marrying into the Windsors.

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The Duchess of Sussex in South Africa’s Nyanga Township, visiting the Justice Desk initiative supported by the QCT (Ian Vogler/PA)

The Duchess of Sussex in South Africa’s Nyanga Township, visiting the Justice Desk initiative supported by the QCT (Ian Vogler/PA)

PA

The Duchess of Sussex in South Africa’s Nyanga Township, visiting the Justice Desk initiative supported by the QCT (Ian Vogler/PA)

But two years later, Harry and Meghan’s attendance at the Commonwealth Service in 2020 marked their final official public engagement as senior working royals.

In July last year they warned that the Commonwealth’s past wrongs needed to be acknowledged to be able to move forward.

Harry, in the video call with young leaders in a QCT session, said: “When you look across the Commonwealth there is no way that we can move forward unless we acknowledge the past.”

Meghan also touched on the Commonwealth’s history, saying: “In that self reflection, it’s acknowledging whatever mistakes we’ve all made, right?

“So if we look at the Commonwealth, I know part of the conversation we’re going to explore later on is looking at the history of that.”

The roots of the Commonwealth, a voluntary association, stretch back to Britain’s colonial past and the British Empire.

PA


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