Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked the world when they announced that they would be taking a step back from their roles as “senior” royals and would be splitting their time between England and North America. They wrote on their personal website:
“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.”
Although the Queen initially released a statement claiming that she was “disappointed” in their decision, she has since come around and released a second statement after a family meeting.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the queen said in a statement. “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the U.K.
These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
Insiders claim that Prince Charles is hurt by Harry and Meghan’s decision, as he had a very specific idea for how his sons would be involved in the monarchy after Charles becomes king.
“There is a firm determination within the palace to understand Meghan [Markle] and Harry’s position and help them get to a place where they feel comfortable and happy. Charles has always envisioned working with both of his sons and their families in the future.”
Still, we shouldn’t assume that this family break up means the end of the monarchy as we know it. Royal historian Robert Lacey told People:
““For public and also for deeply private reasons, the Queen, and Prince Charles and Prince William will want to heal the rift. There is anger at the moment. But if Harry and Meghan are prepared to enter into the spirit of this new arrangement, I think the Queen, Charles and William will [support them]. Each of them, for different reasons, will want to heal what has gone wrong.”
Maybe standing up for Meghan publicly after she receives racist abuse from the press is a place to start.