On Wednesday (8th January), Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they will be stepping down from their ‘senior royal’ positions.
‘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,’ read their statement.
‘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.’
They also revealed that they would be splitting their time between the UK and North America, writing: ‘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.’
However, it may not be as smooth a transition as the couple are hoping for. The Palace released a statement shortly afterwards which read: ‘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.’
According to ITV, they have been accused of releasing their statement ‘without consultation’ with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William, who are reportedly ‘deeply disappointed’ by their decision.
Many are speculating on social media that the Queen was unaware that Harry and Meghan were planning to release a public statement announcing the move away from the royal family until the news broke yesterday.
A palace source said that their move is ‘without the Sovereign’s blessing’ and that independence was discussed with aides and members of the royal family – but only in the last day or two.
The couple’s future is unclear, but more details are expected over the next few weeks.