The Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex has said she was ‘saddened’ to learn Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were stepping back as senior members of the royal family.
The royal couple made the decision after ‘many months of reflection and internal discussions’ and plan ‘to carve out a progressive new role within this institution’ – according to a statement released on social media last night. Read more here
Mrs Susan Pyper, HM Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex, said: “I am saddened to learn that TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have decided to step back from being senior members of the Royal Family, and would like to wish them well as they develop their new role in the future.”
In their statement, Harry and Meghan said they plan to ‘work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen’ and will divide their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
After being made the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by the Queen following their marriage, the couple undertook a tour of the county, with thousands of people lining the streets of Sussex to see them. Click here to find out more about their visit.
Mrs Pyper was appointed Lord-Lieutenant for the county by Her Majesty The Queen upon the retirement of Hugh Wyatt CVO in 2008. The Lord-Lieutenant’s primary duty is to uphold the dignity of the Crown and is Her Majesty’s personal representative in the county.
The office of Lord-Lieutenant is centuries old, dating back to the reign of Henry VIII when the role was substantially a military one.
Today, as an entirely unpaid voluntary structure comprising the Lord-Lieutenant, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, the High Sheriff and a number of deputy lieutenants, the lieutenancy provides a focus for the county’s identity and the promotion of civic, commercial, voluntary and social activities within its borders.