Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to ‘Step Back’ From Royal Duties, Split Time in North America

The couple plans to become “financially independent” and launch a new charity

Last Updated: January 8, 2020 @ 1:22 PM

Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced Wednesday a plan to “step back as ‘senior’ members” of the British royal family.

In an Instagram post, the couple wrote, “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.”

From there, Harry and Meghan revealed they’ll be splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America. The move “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.”

Following the announcement, Buckingham Palace released its own statement, saying discussions with the couple were “at an early stage,” adding “we understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that take time to work through.”

The duke is sixth in the line of succession but considered a senior member of the royal family as the grandson of Queen Elizabeth and son of the heir apparent, Prince Charles.

The duchess is American by birth and married into the British royal family in 2018. She gave birth to a son, Archie, in 2019. Her relationship with the British press has been contentious.

In a recent interview with ITV News, Markle got emotional as she described the difficulty of living under the British press’ microscope, especially as a newlywed and new mother.

“Any woman, especially when they’re pregnant, you’re really vulnerable,” said the duchess, who is suing the Mail on Sunday.

See Harry and Meghan’s announcement below:

View this post on Instagram

“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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