Harry And Meghan ‘Step Back’
Ever since their relationship was confirmed, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have never been seen as the typical royal couple. With the growing family of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Harry has dropped to sixth in line to the throne, unlikely to ever wear the crown and affording him certain freedoms not granted to his brother, Prince William.
But those freedoms reached another level with the January 8 announcement on social media that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex intended to “step back as senior members of the Royal Family,” which shocked even the most senior royal watchers and even members of their family. It had been reported that Harry and Meghan had not informed the Queen nor the Prince of Wales, leaving the Queen “sad” and Prince Charles “furious.”
“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they wrote on their posting, also stating that they will “work to become financially independent” and “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America.”
The move is shaking “The Firm” to its core (and, no doubt, causing champagne corks to pop in the writers’ room of The Crown). It also raises a number of questions, such as: Where in North America will they choose to spend their time?
There is speculation it is Toronto, where the Duchess of Sussex worked for many years as an actress and the couple have many friends. The announcement also comes after Harry and Meghan spent the Christmas holidays in Canada, and it was perhaps no coincidence that on the day of the social media posting, the couple was visiting Canada House in London, to thank the country for its hospitality.
Other questions include: How will they leverage their Sussex Royal brand to become financially independent, and what royal duties will they still carry out and for what causes and charities? It promises to be an interesting year.
Upon reflection, perhaps it’s no surprise Harry would take this step toward independence with his young family. One only has to recall the expression he wore as a 12-year-old at his mother’s funeral to realize he’s always marched to his own drummer.
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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