Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Royal Exit Timeline: When They Will Leave and Their Final Royal Engagements

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will officially begin their new lives away from the royal family on March 31, Buckingham Palace said on Wednesday.

After March 31, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer be senior working members of the royal family, in line with their wishes to split their time between the U.K. and North America and to be financially independent. Their official office at Buckingham Palace will close and the couple will be represented by the team behind their charity foundation.

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

The Sussexes' new arrangement with the royal family will be reviewed after 12 months, the spokesperson added.

The couple will retain their titles as Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as well as other titles including the Earl and Countess of Dumbarton and the Baron and Baroness Kilkeel. Harry will also retain his honorary military titles as a major, lieutenant commander and squadron leader, however, he will not use them during the 12-month transition period.

Harry and Meghan's final royal engagements

Also on Wednesday, Buckingham Palace listed what is expected to be Harry and Meghan's final royal engagements as working members of the royal family. These include:

  • February 28: Harry will attend a recording session with Jon Bon Jovi and the Invictus Games Choir as they record a new version of the Bon Jovi song "Unbroken," the proceeds of which will benefit the Invictus Games Foundation
  • March 5: Harry and Meghan will attend the Endeavour Fund Awards
  • March 6: Harry and Lewis Hamilton will open the Silverstone Experience, a new museum honoring the history of British motor racing
  • March 7: Harry and Meghan will attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music
  • March 8: Meghan will mark International Women's Day
  • March 9: Meghan, Harry, Queen Elizabeth II, and the royal family will attend a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey

Harry is also expected to attend the London Marathon on April 26, and the couple are expected to attend the Invictus Games in The Hague, in May, however, these will not be considered to be in a royal capacity.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture as they leave after a visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London on January 7, 2020. Adrian DENNIS/AFP/Getty

Will Harry and Meghan give up "royal" brand?

Buckingham Palace said Wednesday that discussions are ongoing over whether Harry and Meghan will be allowed to use the word "royal" in their future business endeavors. The couple have been using the brand Sussex Royal for their website and social media platforms. Sussex Royal was also registered as the name for their charitable foundation.

"As The Duke and Duchess are stepping back as senior Members of the Royal Family, and will work towards financial independence, use of the word 'Royal', in this context, needed to be reviewed," said a spokesperson. "Discussions are still ongoing, however, a change will be announced alongside the launch of their new non-profit organization."