Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they will stand down as senior royals and begin to split their time between the UK and North America – but Buckingham Palace says it’s not that easy.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the shock announcement via Instagram on Thursday morning, claiming they had spent “many months” discussing and reflecting on the issue.
“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,” the couple announced alongside a picture of the pair walking hand in hand.
“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.”
Buckingham Palace released a statement of their own shortly after, claiming the discussions were “at an early stage”.
“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” it read.
A source close to the Royals told the BBC no other royal was consulted before Harry and Meghan shared their news on Instagram.
Harry and Meghan — who lived in Canada when she worked as an actress on the TV-drama Suits — said the “geographic balance” would allow their infant son Archie to grow up with an understanding of his royal heritage while giving the notoriously private family space.
The couple will be launching a new charity as part of their “new, progressive role” in the monarchy, and will “continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties”.
The announcement comes shortly after the new family returned to the UK from a six-week holiday to Canada, where they spent Christmas in a multi-million dollar home in Vancouver Island.
Upon their return, Harry and Meghan visited Canada House to “thank” the nation for their hospitality.