SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!

The Sussexes

Harry and Meghan to step down as senior royals


Mark Thomas/ i-Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have just announced they are stepping back from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family. In a statement on their Instagram account, Harry and Meghan said they will be splitting their time between the UK and North America while ”continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen”.

The announcement has taken many by surprise and comes just a day after their carried out their first official engagement of the year with a visit to Canada House in London. However, they said in their statement that they wanted to ”carve out a progressive new role” within the Royal Family and ”work to become financially independent”.

The statement also said that dividing their time between the UK and America would allow them to ”raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born while also providing out family with the space to focus on our next chapter”.

They said they would continue ”to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages” and they added they would be launching a new charitable entity.

The full statement reads:

“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”

Neither The Queen or any other member of The Royal Family were consulted about Harry & Meghan’s statement before the couple released it via their Instagram account on Wednesday evening.

A palace source told the BBC that the royals feel “hurt” by Harry & Meghan’s actions.

The news of Harry & Meghan’s effective resignation from The Royal Family has taken Buckingham Palace by surprise.

The BBC reports that the palace are ‘disappointed’ with the way in which this had been handled.

It is understood that no members of The Royal Family were conducted ahead of the couple’s statement being released.

Speaking shortly after the news, a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said that the situation was complicated with discussions at an early stage.

The spokeswoman said: “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage.

“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but there are complicated issues that will take time to work though.”

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Jubilee and Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.