After months of speculation, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially announced that they will no longer be senior members of the British Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement, revealing that they are “stepping back” from their roles as senior members in the monarchy, aiming to embark on an independent life. The couple will be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America, while still continuing to carry out their royal duties.
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The shocking announcement came shorty after Meghan and Harry’s first public appearance since their six-week vacation in Canada with their seven-month old baby, Archie.
The statement said: “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
According to the BBC, no other royal – including the Queen or Prince William – was consulted before the statement and Buckingham Palace is “disappointed”.
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. https://t.co/1qtTEHiIq6
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 8, 2020
Buckingham palace has released a statement, reading: “”Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the short statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
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As surprising as the announcement is, it was somewhat expected, as the couple were rumoured to be looking for a house outside the UK late last year. Not only that, but Meghan has been facing immense scrutiny from British tabloids, which lead to Prince Harry filling multiple lawsuits against them for their treatment of his wife, which he compared to the treatment of his late mother, Princess Diana.
The news was met with a mixed reaction from the public and the press, with some supporting their brave decision to step back and focus on their family, while others criticised them for spending tax payers money on their wedding and renovation of their home. Whether they will keep their royal titles is yet unclear, but some feel that if they no longer wish to take on royal duties, they should be stripped of their titles.
We are yet to learn what will their new role be, where they will live, and who will pay for it. And finally, what does this mean for the British Royal Family?
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