Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, say they are stepping back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family and plan to work towards becoming “financially independent,” the couple announced on Wednesday.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year” they wrote on Instagram, explaining that they hope 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,” they said.
Harry and Meghan did not consult any other members of the royal family about their decision, CNN has learned.
There is said to be a mood of deep disappointment in the palace following the announcement; senior members of the family are hurt as a result of the news.
Couple keen for private life
In a statement issued just hours after the couple’s Instagram post, Buckingham Palace said the situation was “complicated.”
“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the unsigned Royal Communications statement said. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said it would "take time" to resolve the issue.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said it would “take time” to resolve the issue.
The Duke and Duchess did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.
The announcement could indicate that the couple will now have the private life they’ve always argued for.
They are opting out of the system but they’ll be able to opt in to the elements that they like: the family elements and those where they’re seen to be supporting the Queen, who they’re both very close to.
Shock Instagram announcement
In their social media post, the couple revealed they plan to split their time between the UK and North America.
“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,” they wrote.
“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.”