Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are 'Stepping Back As Senior Members of the Royal Family'
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are planning to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an announcement on Wednesday, January 8, 2020, that included two pieces of important news. First, they announced they are "stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family" this year to become financially independent.
Secondly, they announced they will split their time between the United Kingdom and North America. By doing so, they will be able to raise their son with a balance of two traditions. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor will be able to appreciate the royal tradition into which he was born eight months ago while the Sussexes will be able to focus on the next phase of their lives. That includes launching a new charity.
The couple posted on Instagram some details about their plans for the transition. After spelling out what they plan to do, they added that they feel prepared to make the adjustment in their lives. In the meantime, they will continue to support and honor their duty to Her Majesty The Queen, the Commonwealth, and their patronages.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they are excited about their intentions. They indicated they will share more details about their plans as they are worked out with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all other relevant parties.
Some people are surprised to learn the news about the Sussexes stepping back from being senior royal members and living part time in North America. Others are not surprised at all. They say Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been known to be more modern and break some of the Queen Elizabeth's rules.
What Buckingham Palace Says
Buckingham Palace is fully aware of the Sussexes' plan to step down and to move away from the UK for a portion of the year. A spokesman for the palace said it is understandable that the couple wants to take a different approach. However no details have been finalized yet because these are complicated issues that take time to work through.
What the Transition Means
The transition means Prince Harry will no longer live full time in the United Kingdom where he has lived with the other British royals all his life. He can easily step back from being a senior member of the royal family with the approval from Queen Elizabeth because he is only sixth in line to the throne, behind his father, Prince Charles, brother, Prince William, and William’s three children George, Charlotte, and Louis. Prince William would not be able to step back or move away from the United Kingdom since he is much closer in line to the throne.
The statement said the Sussexes want to become "financially independent." That means they will no longer be working on behalf of the royal family. Therefore, their money will no longer come from Prince Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall unless some other arrangement is made.
Prince Harry, 35, and Duchess Meghan, 38, will not have royal assignments as they once had, but there will be other opportunities for them. Besides, they might get a salary from the new charitable foundation they are launching, funding from speaking engagements, partnerships, and other revenue sources available to public figures.
The transition comes after both Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have filed lawsuits about the way the media have treated them in the UK. The lawsuits have not been cited as a reason for their decision to spend time in North America. According to the announcement on Instagram, the couple has been thinking about making the transition after many months of reflection and discussions.
Relationship with North America
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have established a connection with Canada over the years. Meghan lived in Toronto for seven years while she had a starring role on the legal drama Suits.
The couple spent their first Christmas holiday as a family on Vancouver Island during the six weeks they were on vacation from the UK.
When Harry, Meghan, and Archie move to North America, they will be much closer to Meghan's mother Doria Ragland who lives in Los Angeles.