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Despite quitting the royal family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had their biggest year yet.

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After 12 months of retreating from their royal duties, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have confirmed with Queen Elizabeth that they will not be returning as working members of monarchy.

The Sussexes sent shockwaves through the monarchy in January 2020 when they suddenly announced they were splitting from the family and embarking on a new future across the Atlantic Ocean - one of the most extraordinary royal exits in decades.

More than one year on, that split has now been formalised after discussions with 94-year-old Queen Elizabeth.

The pair will lose their honorary military appointments and royal patronages which revert to the Queen and will be distributed among other family members.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family," the palace said.

"While all are saddened by their decision, the Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family."

Watch: Prince Harry on falling in love with Meghan Markle. Post continues below. 


Video via Royal Family.

Since exiting the Royal Family, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have forged independent lives from the monarchy and have sought privacy over public duty.

Here's what their last 12 months have looked like for the former Royals. 

Media battles. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been embroiled in legal battles with British tabloids over the past two years.  

Both Harry and Meghan filed lawsuits against British and American publications for alleged privacy breaches, including over unauthorised photographs of their little boy. 

Just this month, Meghan Markle won a privacy lawsuit against two United Kingdom newspapers who she claimed breached her privacy by publishing a private letter to her father, Thomas Markle. 

"After two long years of pursuing litigation, I am grateful to the courts for holding Associated Newspapers and The Mail on Sunday to account for their illegal and dehumanising practices," Markle said in a statement.

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"For these outlets, it's a game. For me and so many others, it's real life, real relationships, and very real sadness," she said.

Earlier in February, Prince Harry was also awarded “substantial damages” by a UK tabloid who accused him of snubbing his duty with the Royal Marines.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have recently had a few wins in court. Image: Getty. 

Their move to California.

The couple, who have been married since 2018, have lived in California since March, and before that spent several weeks in Canada. 

They initially lived in a mansion in Beverly Ridge Estates in the hills above Los Angeles, however moved after paparazzi used drones to illegally photograph their one year old son, Archie. 

In July, the couple moved to a new house in Montecito, Santa Barbara County. 

According to Vanity FairMeghan and Harry bought a 9-bedroom, 16-bathroom home on 7.4 acres of land for $14.7 million and did not receive financial help from Harry's father, Prince Charles. 

A source told People in August that the Duke and Duchess "have settled into the quiet privacy of their community since their arrival and hope that this will be respected for their neighbours, as well as for them as a family".

Hollywood careers. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are pursuing careers in the entertainment field. Image: Getty.  

After leaving the Royal Family, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they planned to become financially independent - which they have since accomplished. 

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Markle's first role was a narration job on Disney's documentary, Elephant. The former Suits actress has since signed a deal with Netflix, alongside her husband, that is reportedly worth about $100 million according to The New York Times.

It's understood the couple will be paid to make documentaries, docu-series, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming for the popular streaming service.

They've also done a deal, reportedly worth $US40million ($52.5m), with Spotify to exclusively host their podcast, Archewell Audio.

Only one episode of the podcast has been published so far, during which the world heard their son speak for the first time. The first episode also featured guests including Elton John, James Corden, Stacey Abrams and Naomia Osaka, all of whom reflected on 2020 and the power of compassion. 

Evidently, the couple are planning on carving out their career in the entertainment space. 

Miscarriage heartbreak. 

In November 2020, Meghan Markle revealed she had suffered a miscarriage in a heartfelt personal essay for The New York Times

"After changing [Archie's] diaper, I felt a sharp cramp. I dropped to the floor with him in my arms, humming a lullaby to keep us both calm, the cheerful tune a stark contrast to my sense that something was not right," she wrote. 

"I knew, as I clutched my firstborn child, that I was losing my second."

The 39-year-old said she hoped that by publicly sharing her heartbreak she would encourage more people to ask their loved ones, “Are you OK?”

Meghan Markle pregnant with second child.

On Valentine's Day, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced they are expecting their second child.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are expecting their second child. Image: Sussexes.  

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"We can confirm that Archie is going to be a big brother," a spokesperson for the couple said. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are overjoyed to be expecting their second child."

Their first son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, turns two in May.

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