Yesterday, it was announced in a lengthy statement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be stepping back as senior royals whilst planning to become "financially independent".
The couple, who have just returned home from a six-week break in Canada, revealed that they plan to split their time between the UK and North America.
In a statement posted on their official Instagram, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote:
“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. 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.
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.”
And now it is being reported, per The Independent, that Prince Harry and Meghan did not consult the Queen or the Prince of Wales about their announcement.
The publication also reports that senior members of the royal family are disappointed and "hurt" by the announcement.In a clip from the ITV documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, Meghan Markle reveals the struggles of motherhood while under intense scrutiny:
A number of high-profile figures have expressed their own thoughts on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to leave their royal duties behind as they embark on an independent future.
Piers Morgan tweeted: "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."
Graham Smith from the organization Republic, which campaigns for an elected head of state, said, per The Independent: "This really is wanting to have your cake and eat it. They have said they will dip in and out of royal duties as it suits them but won't stop taking public money until they find other sources of income.
He continued: "To suggest that they're not already financially independent is incredibly crass and belies a sense of self-entitlement and a lack of self-awareness that is common among royals. What should be more concerning is that the royal family's star couple have effectively bowed out of their leading role, and that raises questions about the monarchy's future."
Bette Middler, on the other hand, expressed sympathy for the couple, writing: "What a sad story. They hounded and bullied her until it was no longer tenable to stay, just like Diana. They'll never learn until it hits them in the wallet."