Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced on Wednesday that they would be taking a step back from their roles as “senior” members of the Royal Family. They released a statement on their social media outlining their intent to move to North America.
“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.”
They continued, explaining that they will still take part in some of their duties.
“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.”
BREAKING: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have just basically quit the Royal Family. pic.twitter.com/n3oipRPBX1
— Julian Abbott (@JulianBAbbott) January 8, 2020
In a stunning turn of events, Queen Elizabeth II released a statement through the Buckingham Palace social media that seemed to imply that Harry and Meghan had not informed the Queen of their decision before releasing their intentions.
“Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that we will take time to work through.”
Can you imagine the death stare on the Queen’s face right now?
Buckingham Palace have sent their own statement out, adding that discussions with the couple are at “an early stage.” pic.twitter.com/aCXyEMQuW8
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 8, 2020
The rushed nature of the Queen’s response — no signature! — leads many to believe that Harry and Meghan chose not to notify anyone of their intentions to leave. A source at the BBC confirms this suspicion:
“BREAKING. BBC Understands that no other member of the Royal Family was consulted before Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement tonight, the Palace is understood to be ‘disappointed’.”
Get out your popcorn, folks. This break up is going to get MESSY.
Royal watchers did all that bullying thinking it would make Harry leave Meghan and instead Harry left the royals pic.twitter.com/WcQahN5esc
— Ashley K. (@AshleyKSmalls) January 8, 2020