Harry and Meghan quit as senior royals: What it means
Britain's royal family, that remained glued for decades, is crumbling as Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle have decided to step back as senior royals. They will now work towards becoming financially independent. This stunning call was taken without consulting Queen Elizabeth or Harry's father Prince Charles and it has obviously upset Buckingham Palace. So what does this bombshell announcement mean? Let's decode.
Harry, who is the sixth in line for the British throne, broke norms by marrying Meghan, a bi-racial, divorced American actor best known for her character Rachel Zane in legal drama Suits. Their fairytale wedding in May 2018 caught the world's attention, and so did their public appearances after that. The star couple welcomed their first child, baby Archie, in May 2019.
By the looks of it, Harry and Meghan defined perfection, lighting up whenever cameras turned towards them. But, after the flashes subsided, they got fatigued. The couple first reflected their thoughts about constant media glare in an ITV documentary. Meghan accepted the royal life was tough and said friends warned her about tabloids being ruthless. Harry also spoke about his mental struggles.
In 2019, the couple showed it can't tolerate the media's interference in their lives anymore by threatening legal action against Daily Mail. The daily had published scandalous articles, centered on Meghan's purported private letter to her estranged father Thomas, in which she said his frequent interviews hurt her. Berating disreputable journalism, Harry said he can't let his wife be victimized.
The seeds for this split were sowed months ago. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex skipped Christmas celebrations at Sandringham Estate and holidayed in Canada for six weeks. After returning, they visited Canada House in London to thank them for the hospitality. Before that, Harry and Meghan quit a charity they shared with Prince William and Kate Middleton to set up their own projects.
For too long, the tensions between the couple and the rest of the family were downplayed, but the latest announcement has blown the lid off. Harry and Meghan said after pondering over this for months, they decided to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution." They will continue supporting the Queen while juggling their time between North America and Britain, they underlined.
“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 For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Stunned with the announcement, the Buckingham Palace, the power center of Britain, released a brief statement. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through," the statement, released 40 minutes later, read.
Currently, Prince Charles' private income takes care of Harry and Meghan's expenses, but their financial situation post the split is unclear. As far as titles are concerned, the couple's new website suggests they will keep it, but they might take Mountbatten-Windsor as their surname. Usually, decisions like these necessitate Queen's approval but by keeping her out of the loop, Harry and Meghan scripted history.