Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they will “step back” as senior members of the royal family and will now divide their time between the UK and North America.
This move is unprecendented, and reportedly was not discussed with any other senior member of the royal family before the announcement.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement they will work to become financially independent, while continuing to “fully support” the Queen.
The move follows weeks of speculation about their future after they took an extended break from royal duties over the festive period that followed an emotional appearance in a documentary.
“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,” the couple said in their statement.
“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.”
Harry and Meghan married in May 2018 and a year later had their first child, a boy they named Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.