Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially informed Queen Elizabeth II that they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family, Buckingham Palace announced on Friday.
The palace in a press release said that the decision followed a 12-month review that was initiated when the couple first announced they wanted to step back from their royal family roles last year.
“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,” Friday’s press release said.
The palace added that the honorary military appointments and working positions held by the couple “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 statement added.
Among the associations that the palace announced will be returned to the Queen are the Royal Marines and the RAF Honington air force station, as well as leadership over the charity organization The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust.
Harry will also step down from his role as patron of the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Football League, and Markle will no longer serve as patron of the Royal National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities.
The couple announced in January of last year that they would “step back” as “senior” members of the Royal Family and “work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
Markle and her husband moved from the U.K. to California last year, and Markle has since become more out-spoken publicly and on social media, including leading up to the 2020 presidential election, when she said Americans must “reject hate speech” and “misinformation.”
The couple has also repeatedly condemned the treatment of Markle by the British tabloids.
Last week a British judge ruled that publisher Associated Newspapers improperly used the duchess’s private information and infringed on her copyright by publishing portions of a private letter Markle had sent to her estranged father.
The couple currently has one child together, Archie, who was born in 2019, and on Sunday announced that they are expecting their second child.
Markle revealed in November of last year that she had suffered a miscarriage in July, writing about the experience in a New York Times op-ed.