Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Announce Plan to ‘Step Back’ From Royal Family and ‘Become Financially Independent’

Making a tough decision. Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have announced that they will no longer be senior members of the British royal family.

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Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, confirmed the news in a statement posted to their official Instagram page on Wednesday, January 8. The couple revealed that they came to the decision after “many months of reflection and internal discussions.”

Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry intend to step back as senior members of the Royal Family
Duchess Meghan and Prince Harry leave after their visit to Canada House in London on January 7, 2020. Shutterstock

“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the joint statement read. “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.”

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The statement continued, “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.”

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“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.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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The couple stated that they will also “look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step” in the near future. Despite this break from the royal family, they confirmed that they will “continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties.”

Buckingham Palace released a statement of its own addressing the change. “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” the Wednesday statement read.

Ahead of the announcement, Tom Bradby, who spoke with the duo for the Harry & Meghan: An African Journey ITV documentary, noted that there’s “a lot going on within the royal family” at this time. Bradby, 35, claimed that this has led Harry and Meghan to reevaluate their next move.

“It’s no big secret in their friends that they have been considering their options in the future,” he explained during a Good Morning Britain appearance on Wednesday. “I don’t ask what their plans are. They keep that pretty close to their chest and understandably so. I don’t think it’s a done deal, that would be my impression. I think there’s a lot of talking to be done, there are a million possibilities, they could go to Canada.”

Harry and Meghan, who wed in May 2018, shared the news of their transition after taking a six-week hiatus from all royal duties. During their time off, they skipped out on royal traditions like spending Thanksgiving with the Army vet’s side of the family. They also chose to spend Christmas in Canada with their 8-month-old son, Archie, and the former actress’ mother, Doria Ragland.

Though a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace confirmed Queen Elizabeth II’s support in the matter, a source told Us that she was “disappointed” with their decision.

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