Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step back as senior royals

They said they will still 'fully support' the Queen

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said they “intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent”.

The couple also said they “plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America”.

Despite the groundbreaking decision, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they would continue to "fully support" the Queen.

In a statement released today they said: "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."

The move follows weeks of speculation about the Duke and Duchess' future in their royal roles after they took an extended break from duties over the festive period.

They also chose not to spend Christmas with the Queen at her Sandringham Estate.

Last year the couple took part in an emotional ITV documentary where they spoke about the pressures of royal life and media scrutiny.

Prince Harry later made a statement accusing sections of the press of bullying his wife.

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