While you were sleeping, there have been ~major~ developments in the British royal family. First, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aka the Duke and Duchess of Sussex issued a statement saying that they “intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent.”
They plan to transition to the “progressive new role” this year while they continue to “fully support” Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry’s grandmother.
That’s not all—Prince Harry, Meghan, and baby Archie will “balance” their time between their homes in the United Kingdom 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.”
On their official website, the royal couple shared more details about their decision to pursue financial independence. In addition to taking pride in their charitable work, “they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing.”
The Sovereign Grant, which covers work expenses in support of the Queen, funds five percent of Prince Harry and Meghan’s expenses and goes directly to their official duties. The couple said they “prefer to release this financial tie.”
According to the Duke and Duchess, their “new working model” isn’t unprecedented. It “applies to other current members of the royal family who support the monarch and also have full time jobs external to their commitment to the monarchy.”
They clarified that they’re *not* cutting ties with the monarchy. They “remain dedicated to maximizing Her Majesty’s legacy both in the UK and throughout the Commonwealth. They will continue to proudly do so by supporting their patronages and carrying out works for the Monarchy within the UK or abroad, as called upon.”
Shortly after the couple made the announcement, Buckingham Palace released their own statement. It simply read, “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are 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.”
Other members of the royal family were reportedly “disappointed” and “hurt” by the couple’s announcement, according to BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond. They were reportedly not consulted before the couple released the statement.
Last month, a petition to strip the couple of their royal titles, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, reportedly received thousands of signatures. A council in Brighton, England is scheduled to debate the petition, which has gotten a lot of flak from monarchists.
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