Changes Made After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Stepped Down
Some major changes have already taken place since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement.
It has been only a short time since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced on their Instagram page that they were stepping down from being senior members of the royal family to become financially independent. When their decision was first announced on Wednesday, January 8, there were speculations about many things concerning their plans.
After a private meeting with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry, some details were revealed. Meghan was still in Canada with Archie. It was first reported that she would call in to be part of the two-and-a-half-hour meeting on Monday, January 13. However, it was determined that she didn't need to do so after all.
Queen Elizabeth's Response
During the meeting, Queen Elizabeth agreed to some very positive things in favor of her grandson and his family. The 93-year-old monarch agreed to a period of transition while details of a more independent role for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex can be worked out. She also agreed that the couple could split their time in the UK and North America. Queen Elizabeth also stated that the family is supportive of the couple's desire to have a new life as a young family.
The monarch emphasized that her family is working out the details concerning a number of things. One of the main issues is how the couple will become financially independent. She admits that there is more work to be done. However, she believes plans will be drawn up in the next few days.
The Royal Couple in Canada
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will welcome the royal couple. As of now discussions are going on about who will pay for their security. Details for that will have to be worked out just liked so many other things.
Prince Harry and Meghan said they wanted to "split their time" in North America and in the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth has agreed to that, but nobody has designated the details of the split. Their taxes would depend on the amount of time they spend at each place. If they spend at least 183 days in a tax year in Canada, then they will be considered permanent residents for tax purposes.
As a Briton, Prince Harry is entitled to spend up to six months a year as a visitor in Canada. If he stays longer than six months, he will have to apply for a visa. As an American citizen, the same rule applies to Meghan.
People Are Blaming Meghan
Critics are blaming Meghan for the decision to step down from their royal duties. For years before Prince Harry met Meghan, he had hinted several times that he wanted a private life. There had been many years of growing tension with the media. Harry compared the way Meghan is being treated to the way his mother Princess Diana was treated by the press that led to her death in 1997. Prince Harry still blames the media, and he wants to protect his wife and son from the frenzy. Both Harry and Meghan have separate ongoing lawsuits against the media.
The very next day after the announcement was made that the couple was stepping down, the British newspapers The Sun published the catchword “Megxit” on its front page. The term was a play on the word "Brexit" that was used during Britain’s impending departure from the European Union.
Changes That Have Been Confirmed
Titles Have Not Been Eliminated
No official word has been revealed about the couple's titles that were bestowed upon them on their wedding day. That has not kept newspapers from referring to them as the "former Duke and Duchess of Sussex." No decision has been made yet whether Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, will keep their titles.
In Queen Elizabeth's statement, she referred to them as Harry and Meghan. She also referred to them as the Sussexes. It is unknown at this point whether they will be stripped of their royal titles. Most people think they will not keep them. Prince Harry and Meghan probably wouldn't care one way or the other. They refused a title for Archie when he was born. Edward VIII, Elizabeth's uncle, and his wife, Wallis Simpson, kept the titles Duke and Duchess of Windsor after he abdicated the throne in 1936.
One thing for sure is that Harry will forever remain a prince because he was born one. Even if his title is taken away, he will always be a prince.
Wax Figures in Museum
Madame Tussauds, the famous London Wax Museum, didn't hesitate to move the wax figures of the couple out of the royal section. They had previously stood next to Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. The figures are still in the museum but not in the section with the royal family.
Since Prince Harry and Meghan will not be living in the newly renovated Frogmore Cottage full time, they have reassigned their staff. The Daily Mail reports that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have reassigned at least two of their permanent employees. A house manager and a cleaner have left to perform other duties someplace else in Queen Elizabeth's household.
The members of the staff who didn't work on a consistent basis have been informed they are no longer needed at Frogmore. They include chefs, maids and others who worked infrequently.
More News To Come
More details will be published as they unfold in the upcoming days. Queen Elizabeth has assured the public that even though this is a complex situation, details will be revealed in days rather than in weeks.