New Zealand markets close in 5 hours 46 minutes
  • NZX 50

    +25.28 (+0.20%)

    +0.0003 (+0.04%)

    +36.90 (+0.51%)
  • OIL

    -0.08 (-0.13%)
  • GOLD

    -2.70 (-0.15%)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Announce New Commonwealth Project After Stepping Down as Working Royals

Stephanie Petit
·2-min read

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Confirm They Won’t Return to Royal Roles: ‘All Are Saddened,’ Says Queen

Although Prince Harry and Meghan no longer use their coveted His/Her Highness titles, they will retain them — along with their Duke and Duchess of Sussex titles

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry may have stepped down from the royal roles, but they are still doing their part to help Commonwealth countries around the world.

World Central Kitchen, founded by chef José Andrés, shared Wednesday that they were teaming up with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's nonprofit Archewell Foundation to create Community Relief Centers in regions of the world prone to climate disasters. They added that construction on the first centers in the Caribbean Commonwealth nation of Dominica has been completed.

The center, located in a school constructed under Dominica's climate resiliency plan to be a safe shelter against future hurricanes, installed kitchen equipment that work using solar power. They also plan to launch a culinary training program this year to equip chefs to prepare food for large numbers in an emergency.

RELATED: Prince Harry & Meghan Markle 'Disappointed' at Losing Patronages but There's 'Still a Strong Family Bond'

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Buckingham Palace confirmed in a statement on Friday that the couple — who left full-time royal work in March 2020 — will officially not be returning to their royal roles. As part of stepping down, they will no longer keep their patronages (their royal involvement with numerous U.K. charities).

Prince Harry, 36, previously served as President of the Queen's Commonwealth Trust with Meghan, 39, serving as Vice President. The organization, which supports youth empowerment in Commonwealth countries around the world, said in a statement that they felt "lucky" to have worked with the couple.

"They enabled us to make fast progress and have helped us to take the organisation to readiness for its next phase," they wrote. "We are glad they remain in our circle of supporters."

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The palace statement added that Harry's grandmother Queen Elizabeth, 94, decreed that in stepping away from royal work "it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service."

Meghan and Harry countered with a statement of their own, saying, "We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."

Chris Jackson/Getty Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Can't get enough of PEOPLE's Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

The pushback reportedly ruffled feathers at the palace. Others say the couple would not have pushed back had the palace statement simply referred to "royal" service.

Still, adds a royal source, "There is a very strong family bond."