This Isn't The First Time Prince Harry Considered Quitting His Role In The Royal Family

Before the trolls start blaming this whole thing on Meghan Markle.
PHOTO: KOEN VAN WEEL/GETTY IMAGES

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced they'd be stepping down from Royal duties on January 9, in a move that was just as shocking to the royal family, it seems, as it was to you and me.

The long and the short of it is this: The couple wants to "release the ties" in a financial capacity from the royal family, allowing them to fulfill their duties to Her Majesty the Queen, while also being able to generate their own, private income. Oh, and they also want to split their time between the UK and North America (though they didn't say if that would be the US or Canada).

The change would also, theoretically, allow the Sussexes more privacy. As they note on their newly-updated website, they will no longer be participating in the "royal rota," which allows an approved list of royal correspondents from major UK publications to gain inside access to their engagements. Instead, they will give greater access to "grassroots media organizations and young, up-and-coming journalists."

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All in all, it's going to be a major shiftand it's one that's never really been done before. So, as Buckingham Palace noted in its retaliatory statement, the "complicated issues" will "take time to work through."

KOEN VAN WEEL/GETTY IMAGES

While Meghan Markle will no doubt be getting it in the neck from ludicrous people who claim she's forcing Prince Harry to alienate himself from his family, it turns out this isn't actually the first time Harry has contemplated a departure from his royal role.

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In an interview dating back to 2017, with the Mail on Sunday, Prince Harry reflected on his formative years, and how he struggled with the dilemma of whether to continue on his path to being a royal. During his time in the army, Harry was deployed to Afghanistan and, for the first time, lived a relatively normal life.

"I felt as though I was really achieving something. I have a deep understanding of all sorts of people from different backgrounds and felt I was part of a team. I wasn't a Prince, I was just Harry," he said. But then, when the media leaked his location, Harry was brought home.

"I felt very resentful," he said of what happened. "Being in the Army was the best escape I've ever had. I felt as though I was really achieving something."

Prince Harry was in the British army for several years KOEN VAN WEEL/GETTY IMAGES
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After that, the adjustment to a career as a working royal was a difficult one for the Prince. So much so, he deliberated abandoning it entirely.

"I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself," the now-father-of-one said. Years down the line, Harry became a senior working royal, until now that is, when he's carving out what he and wife Meghan describe as a "progressive new role within [the] institution."

And while the announcement came as a surprise to most peoplehis grandmother, the Queen, includedit's not really much of a surprise when you look back at the way Harry's spoken about his life. In an interview with Newsweek, also in 2017, the Prince made the bold statement that no one in his family really wants the role of monarchbut they will accept their respective duties and carry them out in a fashion that feels right for them.

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"We are involved in modernizing the British monarchy," said Harry. "We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people….Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don't think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time."

KOEN VAN WEEL/GETTY IMAGES
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Perhaps now, at the age of 35, Prince Harry can finally look forward to a life where he's not shoe-horned into a role because of his heritage, but where he can make a positive impact in the world on his own terms.

Follow Cat on Instagram.

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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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