Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announce They Will Split Their Time Between the UK and North America Moving Forward

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Photography via Chris Jackson/Getty

The news comes after the pair enjoyed a two-month break in Canada over the holidays.

Update: It’s been just a few hours since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping back from their royal duties, and it appears the statement may have caught the Royal Family a little off guard. Buckingham Palace has issued a statement of its own in response to the Sussexes saying, “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

Additionally, on the pair’s official website (which has continuously crashed since the announcement), there is further explanation of what the next step means for their family, specifically in regards to their “financial independence.”

Detailed answers on the “Funding page” read: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take great pride in their work and are committed to continuing their charitable endeavours as well as establishing new ones. In addition, they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing. For this reason they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence. 

Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally. 

While the contribution from The Sovereign Grant covers just five percent of costs for The Duke and Duchess and is specifically used for their official office expense, Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie.” They will however still benefit from security protection given their international status. 

Harry and Meghan also reiterated their commitment to the monarchy, confirming they are not “cutting ties”, writing, “As working members of the Royal Family, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain dedicated to maximising Her Majesty’s legacy both in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth. They will continue to proudly do so by supporting their patronages and carrying out works for The Monarchy within the UK or abroad, as called upon.”

Original: After much speculation, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they are stepping back from their roles as senior royals, and that they will split their time between the UK and North America.

In a lengthy Instagram post on Sussex Royal, the pair wrote that they will step down from their ‘senior’ roles in the royal family. “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.”

Additionally, the pair added that they will now be based between the UK and North America, driven by a desire to raise their son away from the glare of the public spotlight. “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.”

At this stage it is not yet known what that entity is or what it will look like. The pair finished the note by thanking the public for their support, stating that they will reveal more details soon after continued discussions with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William. “Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support,” they said. 

The pair returned to the spotlight this week after their extended break in Canada by visiting London’s Canada House to thank Janice Charette, the High Commissioner in Canada to the UK, for the “warmth and support” they received in the country. Whilst the statement does not confirm their intended destination in North America, it is widely expected that Canada will be their base given Meghan’s prior ties to the country, and its closer proximity to her mother, Doria Ragland, in Los Angeles.

The news comes after a particularly turbulent year for the pair, during which they – Meghan, more frequently – were attacked by the press. Both expressed their frustrations with the treatment they had been subject to in the documentary covering their trip to Africa late last year. Harry likened the treatment of Meghan to that of his late mother, Princess Diana, and stated his desire to protect his family from experiencing anything like that again.

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