Prince Harry and Meghan to ‘step back’ from Royal roles

A statement issued by the couple Wednesday evening also said they intend to “balance” their time between the U.K. and North America.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s Chapel through the west door. | Ben Birchall /Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave St George’s Chapel through the west door after their wedding ceremony.

Ben Birchall /Pool/Getty Images

LONDON — In a stunning declaration, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, said they are planning “to step back” as senior members of the royal family and “work to become financially independent.”

“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,” the couple said in an announcement Wednesday issued by Buckingham Palace.

”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.”

It was stunning news, even for the frequently surprising Sussexes. Their announcement said they were encouraged by their many supporters in Britain to make this move. 

”It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment,” the statement said. 

Before marrying Harry last year, the Duchess of Sussex was the American actress known as Meghan Markle.

American-born Meghan, 38, has close family in California and close friends in Canada, so their desire to spend more time in North America suggests this plan might be designed to help her stay in touch with her friends and family on both sides of the Atlantic.

“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son (8-month-old Archie) 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,” the statement said. 

“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.”

It is not immediately clear what the couple mean by becoming “financially independent.” In their royal roles, Harry and Meghan are supported in part by his father, Prince Charles, and in part through the taxpayers of Britain, and in part through his own resources, having inherited a substantial sum from his mother, the late Princess Diana’s, estate. 


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