Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down as senior royals
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they will be stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family to become financially independent.
The couple will also split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
Writing on their Instagram page, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle said the geographic balance will be beneficial to their son Archie.
“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," they wrote.
"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 announcement has been greeted with mixed reviews.
Some supported the couple's moves.
"So brave. Well done! This is such a great decision and reflects what you are truly all about. You are very lucky to have the freedom and flexibility to do this when others in the royal family obviously don't through their position in line. I hope that the royal family continues to support you both as will so many of us... and most of us with any sense will ignore the headlines anyway," said one person.
Others accused the former actress of messing with tradition and dividing the Royal family.
"So Meghan's finally driven a wedge between Harry and his entire family! Guess who wears the trousers in that partnership! She’s supposed to adapt to being a royal he’s not supposed to adapt to being whatever it is she wants him to be, which quite clearly isn’t a royal. Meghan will never be kate, kate knows and respects her position. Kate will be queen and Meghan won’t. Second place really isn’t something Meghan would like. I’m pretty sure if Harry was gonna be king one day she’d be lording it. Waiting for the attacks saying it’s people like me who have driven them away, well they’re supported by the taxpayers and as such we are allowed an opinion on the royals. Wonder how long they’ll last without security that Harry needs. What money is he gonna earn? She can go back to acting what’s he gonna do?? Well, we shall see what happens in the future," said an angry commentator.
Piers Morgan, the couple's biggest critic, felt vindicated by the news, writing on Twitter that: "People say I'm too critical of Meghan Markle - but she ditched her family, ditched her Dad, ditched most of her old friends, split Harry from William & has now split him from the Royal Family. I rest my case."
Since their wedding in 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan have faced intense scrutiny, particularly in the British media with most of the criticism aimed at the former 'Suits' star.
The couple featured in an emotional appearance in a documentary by British broadcaster ITV, in which they spoke about the pressures they have been facing and family rifts.
Shortly after the birth of baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor last May, they filed suit against the Mail on Sunday's parent company after the tabloid published a private letter written by Meghan earlier this year.