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Royals No More? Prince Harry And Meghan Announce Their Resignation From The British Monarchy

In a shocking statement, the young royals announced that they will be stepping down from their roles as senior members of the royal family, choosing instead to live as private individuals far away from the spotlight

A new era is about to dawn over the couple who carved a reputation as being the British monarchy's "modern royals."


Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who were dubbed as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after they wed in a lavish ceremony in May 2018, made a historical announcement Wednesday evening: "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," said their official statement on Instagram, in part.



The statement goes on to detail the rest of the major changes Meghan and Harry will soon make in their lives, which we broke down below: 


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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."


For those who have followed the Sussex royals' journey closely, they'll likely be able to guesstimate that the "many months" being referred to are the troublesome times Meghan and Harry experienced in 2019's latter half. They were caught up in a venomous battle with British tabloids that reached a head in October, and it prompted Meghan to take legal action against a publication for invading her privacy by publishing a letter she had written to her estranged father, among other things. 


Harry's reaction was just as extreme; he released a personal statement published on the Sussex Royal website likening the British press' treatment of his wife to the treatment his late mother, Princess Diana, had received and played a part in her untimely death. 


But even with both Meghan and Harry fighting back, the tabloids continue to publish criticism against them, their family, and most especially Meghan, to this day. 



"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."


Here's where it gets tricky.


Meghan and Harry's financial situation is predicted to be the most difficult element in their new lives to manage, given the fact that many of the royal family's members' professional activities and official engagements are covered by taxpayers' money. Additionally, they also receive a form of allowance from the income generated by Duchy of Cornwall Estate, a property of Prince Charles. (The ratio is  reportedly 95% from the estate and 5% from taxpayers). 


Stepping down from their duties as royals with this privilege means cutting the cord from most of these funds from British taxpayers and from the royal family's assets.  


Where the couple will source finances for their travels, professional engagements, transportation, security and other aids is a major matter of concern. It is unclear at this moment how they intend to achieve financial independence. (Will Meghan return to Hollywood? What kind of "day job" will Harry apply for, if he chooses to go down that path?). 



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"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."


Canada—it's where Meghan and Harry are reportedly eyeing to set up their new home. 


It makes sense, for several reasons: Canada is a Commonwealth nation (i.e.: a British empire where the Queen maintains a degree of influence), it's where Meghan lived when she was still an actress, and they frequent the country thanks to Canadians mostly respecting their privacy as they go about their lives.


In fact, the couple spent six whole weeks in Canada over the holiday break to spend time with baby Archie away from the rest of  the royal family—a massive break from tradition. However, echoing the concern that their desire to become financially independent raises, it is unknown how they'll set up a permanent residence there and who will fund it. 


Meanwhile, the charitable entity they mentioned is also a mystery; their partners, its beneficiaries, and where it will be based are still under wraps. 



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"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.”


Take note that even though Harry and Meghan are giving up their roles as senior members of the royal court, they're not giving up their status as royals altogether. They're still going to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and will continue to be addressed as his or her royal highness.


More importantly, they're still going to be supporting activities and attending events organized by and for the Queen (think birthdays, charitable events, possibly some official state holidays and family affairs). They'll definitely still be coming around Buckingham Palace and mingling with other members of the royal family should the occasion call for it. 


The same can be said about the charities of which Meghan and Harry are patrons; stepping down from their current responsibilities does not affect the non-profit organizations they've partnered with as royals. 



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Now that you've gotten a better grip of the potential new lives that these royals are setting up for themselves, here's what makes their surprise move such a big deal beyond the surface:


It's the first time, ever, in the centuries-long existence of the British monarchy, that a senior member of the royal family had voluntarily stepped down from his position. 


Many are comparing Harry's decision to what happened to his predecessor, Edward VIII, in the 30s. The royal had chosen love above all else (he married American socialite Wallis Simpson), which led to his abdication, a complete giving up of any all royal ties. Harry isn't quite in the same position as he is still a member of the royal family, just one who isn't as involved. 


It's also a different situation from that the disgraced Prince Andrew had to deal with. Prince Andrew, Prince Philip's younger brother and uncle to Harry, was accused of being involved with the sex crimes that his old friend, Jeffrey Epstein, had committed years ago. This royal announced that he was stepping away from public life, and will no longer actively play a part in any royal engagements. 



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By all accounts, Meghan and Harry's situation is in the gray.


There is no royal protocol for this as, quite literally, no one has ever had to address a situation where a royal has one foot in and another out the door, yet still vows to be supportive of the monarchy's activities.


The most surprising revelation, however, is how Meghan and Harry did not consult members of the royal family or royal advisors about their decision. Their announcement caught everyone by surprise.


The Palace promptly released its response to Meghan and Harry, and it reads:



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Naturally, Harry and Meghan's audience have mixed reactions.


Some have praised the couple for their bravery to choose "commoners'" lives over the polished world of royalty, while others criticize Meghan for being responsible for shaking things up in the Palace, for the worse. 


Many are also worried about the strain this may bring to Harry and William's relationship—brothers who have put up an unbreakable front for years, until both men had married and pursued different ambitions. 


Only time will truly tell what's in store for Harry, Meghan, and the royal family. It's only the first month of 2020—and something tells us a lot more is in store for them for the rest of the year. 


Check out the full statement on their exit from the royal family below:






View this post on Instagram









“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

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on


Photos from @sussexroyal