Harry and Meghan to ‘Step Back’ as Senior Members of the Royal Family

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not consult the queen before they dropped the bombshell statement on Wednesday that they are stepping down as senior members of the royal family. They said their decision came “after many months of reflection and internal discussion” in a statement posted on their verified Instagram account, Fox News reports.

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

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” they continued. “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,” added the couple, who will reportedly keep their royal titles.

The couple plan to split their time between Britain and North America, and made the shocking announcement just days after returning from Canada, where they spent a six-week leave of absence away from royal duties with their 7-month-old son, Archie, during the holiday season. They made their first public appearance on Tuesday.

The Royal Family is “deeply disappointed” as senior source says the household is ‘shocked’ and “downright furious,” and learnt about the announcement as it broke on television news channels last night, according to The Daily Mail.

One aide told The Daily Mail: “People had bent over backwards for them. They were given the wedding they wanted, the house they wanted, the office they wanted, the money they wanted, the staff they wanted, the tours they wanted and had the backing of their family. What more did they want?”

“But they have made clear they still want to be paid by the public purse for their work and they have to accept that things need to be thought through carefully.”

Sources say Harry told his grandmother more than a year ago that he and Meghan wanted to set up their own ‘court’ independent of Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, while retaining funding from them.

The prince was told that this outcome would not be possible and that no one was ‘bigger’ – or more important – than the Queen.

The couple have long been branded by insiders as ‘awkward and childish’ for refusing to work harmoniously alongside other members of the Royal Family.

The Daily Mail reports, “the statement on the couple’s website makes great play of the fact they are giving up the money from the Sovereign Grant, it does not say whether they will continue to receive money they get from Prince Charles via his private £1.2billion Duchy of Cornwall estate – which some argue should be regarded as a public asset. Prince Charles paid £4.9million to his sons from his duchy income last year, of which slightly less than half is believed to have gone to Harry.” Harry’s other wealth comes from his estimated £20million inheritance from his mother Princess Diana. He also banked around £7million from his great-grandmother the Queen Mother, who paid it into a trust fund in 1994.

Given their high profiles on both sides of the Atlantic – Harry and Meghan, like the Clintons, and Bidens of this world are likely to be offered many lucrative engagements.

About Catherine Smith

Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.

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