Buckingham Palace announced today that Prince William and Prince Harry are officially splitting their royal courts and that Queen Elizabeth II formally agreed. But what does this mean? And why are they doing it now? We break it down ahead.
The split has been in the works
A rumor about the princes splitting their royal courts has been circulating for some time. We reported on the topic back in October 2018. Behind closed doors, the royal family has been working on the split for months now.
What is a royal court?
A royal court is an office often referred to as a “household.” Until now, Prince William and Prince Harry shared a joint royal household at their childhood home of Kensington Palace. Essentially, the split means that the Sussex household and the Cambridge household will have different offices.
Who will run the courts?
Now that the royal courts are being split, Prince Harry (the Duke of Sussex) and Meghan Markle (the Duchess of Sussex) will be based at Buckingham Palace, according to The Cut.
Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge) and Kate Middleton (the Duchess of Cambridge) will have a royal court based out of Kensington Palace.
Sarah Latham, a former campaign adviser to Hillary Clinton, will head up communications for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Since his engagement to Markle, Prince Harry has reportedly kept a private office. Again, this makes sense because how can one office be expected to run Prince Harry and Prince William’s royal lives as well as handle one of the biggest royal engagements.
Staff members who previously worked for the Sussex household at Kensington Palace will remain there under the Cambridge household. Even though their households will be separate, the dukes and duchesses will continue on as patrons of their royal foundation.
The entire splitting process will take time. “It will be a step-by-step process,” Omid Scobie, a royal reporter, told Harper’s Bazaar, according to The Cut.
Prince Harry and Prince William have both struck out on their own. They’ve both got families of their own with Baby Sussex due in late April.
The timing makes sense because one day Prince William will become king and he’s got to soak up as much knowledge from Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and Prince Charles to prepare.
As for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, they have more leeway than the Cambridge household on certain matters. They don’t have to follow the same strict rules William and Kate have to in their day-to-day lives and working royal lives.
Are the princes growing apart?
When the splitting of the royal courts was first discussed, royal watchers feared it meant there was a rift between Prince William and Prince Harry.
Publicly, the princes and their other halves presented a united front in an attempt to squash the rumor.
The princes may not be growing apart, it may be that they’re growing up, and simply, that it makes more sense to have two offices, one for each family.
A report said that “the brother have leant [sic] on each other and looked after each other since their mother died. But now they have their own families, they no longer rely on each other as before.”
There you have it.