Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stepping down from senior royal roles

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announce shocking decision to step down as senior royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to divide their time between the UK and North America

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are bowing out of their senior royal roles. The former American actress and Prince William’s younger brother made the bombshell announcement on Wednesday, January 8, just one day after they returned to their royal duties following a six-week break. Alongside a photo from their 2017 engagement photocall, the pair wrote: “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.”

The statement continued, “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.”

The couple took a break from royal duties back in November following months of intense media scrutiny and backlash. During their time off, Meghan and Harry, along with their eight-month-old son Archie Harrison, celebrated the holiday season in Canada. Last month, a spokesperson for the Sussexes stated that their decision to base themselves in Canada “reflected the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.” The spokesperson added, “The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.”

The family of three plan to divide their time between the UK and North America©Chris Allerton ©️ SussexRoyal
The family of three plan to divide their time between the UK and North America

For their first public appearance in nearly two months, the couple visited Canada House on January 7 in London. The pair wanted to thank High Commissioner Janice Charette and staff for the warm hospitality they received during their recent stay in Canada. “I want to say Happy New Year and thank you, and as my husband said, my goodness it was just such an incredible time that we were able to have there and with our son too,” Meghan told staff members. “And just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people, but also to walk around and to see just the beauty of Canada. To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by to see how stunning it is, so it’s meant a lot to us and it’s just important for us to start the year here [Canada House] and say thank you.”

Harry and Meghan’s shocking announcement to step back from their royal roles comes months after the Suits alum revealed that she was not okay and struggling with life in the spotlight. “I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair,” she said in the Harry & Meghan: An African Journey documentary. “I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a ‘stiff upper lip.’ I really tried, but I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging.” At the time, Meghan admitted that she takes “each day as it comes.” She said, “I have said for a long time to H, that’s what I call him, ‘It’s not enough to just survive something. That’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive. You have got to feel happy.’”

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