Meghan Markle is no longer listed as Her Royal Highness on several websites and social media accounts for charities that she is the patron of.
The Smart Works charity is no longer calling the former Suits actress, 38, “Our Royal Patron HRH The Duchess of Sussex” on the Who We Are section of its website, instead simply referring to her as “The Duchess of Sussex.”
In 2019, when the American-born star became patron of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), she was referred to as HRH The Duchess of Sussex, but in two recent photos on the association’s Instagram page, she is referred to as “our Patron, The Duchess of Sussex.” Meghan’s final royal engagement involved meeting 22 students from the ACU at Buckingham Palace in London on March 11.
Animal welfare charity Mayhew has also dropped the HRH from its website and Instagram account, while the National Theater doesn’t mention Meghan on its website but referred to her as “The Duchess of Sussex, our Royal patron,” in a tweet on March 6.
Meghan remains the patron of these charities but the change in her designation comes as she and husband Prince Harry officially step back as senior members of the royal family on April 1.
The couple announced their plan to split their time between the U.K. and North America in January and revealed their intention to become financially independent.
According to a statement on the pair’s official website, they will give up their Sussex Royal name and not use the word “Royal” in “any iteration,” and although they will keep their HRH titles, they “will no longer actively use” them.
The couple, who share son Archie, 10 months, completed their final royal engagements earlier this month. Those appearances included reuniting with Harry’s brother, Prince William, and his wife, Duchess Kate, at the Commonwealth Day Service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 9.
It was the first time the two couples had been together in public since Harry, 35, and Meghan’s announcement, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appeared frosty in their interactions with the pair.
Harry and Meghan have since reunited with Archie in Canada and are “observing the quarantine” amid the coronavirus pandemic, a source told Us Weekly exclusively.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday, March 18, the couple urged people to practice “empathy and kindness” amid the health crisis.
“These are uncertain times. And now, more than ever, we need each other,” they wrote. “We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary.”
“Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring,” they continued. “This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit … All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally. How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now.”
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