Now that Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, is officially a member of “The Firm,” there are plenty of tasks she’ll be called on to do and traditions she’ll have to uphold. But given that her husband, Prince Harry, is sixth in line the throne, the newlyweds have more freedom than Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the family. Meghan’s role is evolving and it’s already been announced that she is now a patron, along with Harry, William, and Catherine, of the Royal Foundation. It is expected that Meghan and Harry will be kept busy on engagements throughout the Commonwealth (which is perhaps why Meghan’s veil on her wedding day had flowers embroidered on it from each of the 53 locations). There are, however, plenty of royal duties that Meghan doesn’t have to worry about because they’re carried out by Queen Elizabeth II or other royals who outrank her. Here’s a list of the top six royal tasks that won’t be on the duchess’ to-do list. And for more insight into the royal family, Here’s How the Queen Really Feels About Meghan Markle.
The “red boxes” aren’t her problem.
As a long-standing royal tradition, the Queen receives her infamous “red boxes” every morning from her private secretary. The scarlet-hued glossy boxes with the initials “ER” and a gold crown embossed on its lid are full of important documents, like state papers and Cabinet documents, as well as letters from heads of state and other people (some just fans) around the world. Her private secretary is responsible for organizing the boxes and ensuring that the Queen approves and signs each and every one of them. Meghan won’t be reviewing any important royal documents and her correspondence will all be handled by her private secretary and the press office.
She’s not going to the ceremonial Opening of Parliament this year.
The Queen invites specific members of the family to the Opening of Parliament every year. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall went last year and, in all likelihood, Meghan might have wanted to go this year. The first time Princess Diana went, she had changed her hairstyle for the occasion and the news knocked the Queen off the front page of the newspapers in Britain the next day which, as you might imagine, did not go over very well. Meghan doesn’t have to worry about her star power overshadowing Her Majesty this year. Prime Minister Theresa May has reportedly cancelled the 2018 State Opening of Parliament in order to opt for a two-year Parliamentary session instead of the usual one-year session because of the upheaval of Brexit. And if you want to know more about how Meghan will be passing her time, Meet the Woman Responsible for Keeping Meghan Markle’s Act Together.
Meetings with the Prime Minister aren’t on the agenda.
The Queen regularly meets with Britain’s Prime Minister and retains the right to appoint the appropriate person to the office. While Meghan has expressed strong opinions on many political issues in her pre-royal life, she wont be having meetings with Theresa May or anyone who comes after her any time soon. That’s strictly the job of the monarch.
She won’t be giving out royal awards.
Recipients of the MBE, OBE, and CBE (well-known awards representing different ranks in the Order of the British Empire) are usually announced a few days before the end of the year and around the Queen’s state birthday in June. They are given out to people from all walks of life from Hollywood stars (including Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson), to athletes (David Beckham), to entertainers (Elton John), to civilian volunteers. Historically, they have been given out by the Queen. Over time, Prince Charles and Prince William have stepped in to do the honors. Although Meghan’s Hollywood awards show experience might come in handy here, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see her doing this job.
She won’t be involved in the Royal Humane Society’s affairs.
This may sound like something right up Meghan’s alley, but the animal-loving royal won’t be working with the Royal Humane Society. In Britain, The Royal Humane Society grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and also for the restoration of life by resuscitation. The British society, which is not an animal rights organization like those Meghan has earned recognition from in the past, was founded in London in 1774. The Queen is its patron and HRH Princess Alexandra is its president, but fellow royal Meghan will be sitting this one out. And for more on how becoming a royal will affect her life, learn the 15 Biggest Changes in Meghan’s Life Now That She’s a Royal.
She won’t be accompanying Princess Anne on any tours any time soon.
Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is involved with over 200 charities and does more yearly engagements than other royal. Last year, Harry attended 139 royal engagements in the UK and made 70 official appearances overseas, for a grand total of 209. William made 117 appearances in the UK and 54 abroad (171 in total). The Queen made 296 official appearances last year. But the hardest working royal was Anne, who showed up to 455 domestic engagements and made 85 overseas appearances for an incredible 540 engagements in total. Suffice to say Meghan’s “Markle Sparkle” isn’t required on Anne’s appearances, and instead will be used for maximum effect elsewhere.
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