The official beginning of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s separation from the royal family is set to begin on March 31. As it turns out, though, this separation period may not actually be permanent. According to Hollywood Life, a spokesperson for the duke and duchess told Sky News that the couple would start a year-long trial period at that time.
The couple first announced their plans to step back from the royal family in January, and now, they “have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties.” This new arrangement means that Harry and Meghan will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace, and they’ll be represented by their U.K. foundation team beginning on April 1.
Harry and Meghan will retain many of their titles during this transition period, including Duke and Duchess of Sussex, The Earl, and Countess of Dumbarton and The Baron & Baroness Kilkeel. Harry will also retain his six honorary military titles.
After a series of engagements in February and March, the couple plan to return to North America. In their statement, the couple said that they would visit the U.K. frequently thereafter. Even as they transition out of their duties as royal family members, the couple’s priorities will stay the same.
“In general, the themes of their cause-related work will remain unchanged,” the statement said.
From there, the statement outlined Harry and Meghan’s priorities.
The duke’s priorities remain supporting the welfare of servicemen and women, conservation, sport for social development, HIV and Travalyst which works to mobilize the tourism and travel industry for social good,” the statement continued. “For the duchess, her focus remains women’s empowerment, gender equality, and education.”
Before their trial period begins, the couple have a series of engagements that they must attend to. On February 28, Harry is scheduled to spend time with singer Jon Bon Jovi as he records a song for the Invictus Games Choir. Harry also plans to attend the Endeavor Fund Awards almost a week later, on March 5.
The days after that are very busy for both Harry and Meghan. On March 6, Harry will attend the opening of a British racing museum with Lewis Hamilton. Just a day later, he and Meghan will attend the Mountbatten Festival of Music. On March 8, Meghan will celebrate International Women’s Day. Capping it off on March 9, the couple will attend the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey. The queen and other members of the royal family will also be in attendance for the service.
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