The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex made a shocking announcement this Wednesday which had royals’ watchers scratching their heads. They have stated that they wish to “step back” from their official duties as senior members of the British royal family. They also added that they are working towards financial independence.
In their words, after months of discussions, they have chosen to make a transition this year. They posted on Instagram, stating the above, along with mentioning the fact that they want to create a progressive new role within the old institution. However, they would continue supplying their full support to the Queen.
It has been learned that they have not consulted any of the other members of the royal family in this regard. It is said that there is deep disappointment looming in the palace after this announcement and that the senior members of the royal family are hurt as well, by this new knowledge.
Hours after the couple’s Instagram post, a statement was issued by the Buckingham Palace saying that the issue is complicated and that discussions are still being held with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex, over the matter. These discussions are at an early stage and they understand the couple’s wish to take a different path but according to Buckingham Palance, these are “complicated” situations which will take time to deliver a conclusive answer.
The couple’s desire for private life
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not immediately make any response when requested to comment. The announcement might be taken as a step towards private life. They have always argued about having one and now they finally would.
They are choosing to opt-out of the system of the royal family but that doesn’t bar them from opting for the elements they like. For example, the family elements and those moments where they can be spotted supporting the Queen, who is very close to them.
In the Instagram post, the couple states that they plan on splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America, with Canada as the mid landing spot. They wish to allow themselves more space to focus on the launch of their new charitable entity. At the same time, their son would be able to gain an appreciation for the royal tradition he took birth in via this geographic balance.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have had pretty rough sections of parts of the British media. Back in October last year, the Duke and the Duchess of Sussex announced that the latter was suing the Mail on grounds of illegally publishing a private letter to her father on Sunday newspaper. However, the newspaper denies this allegation.
Just a short while back, Harry had launched an emotional attack on the UK tabloid press alleging for their “ruthless campaign” against his wife. He also pointed out the resemblance of their treatment towards his wife, to what his mother, Princess Diana had to face. Princess Diana died back in 1997 in a car crash, when her car was being pursued by members of the paparazzi. The couple (Harry and Meghan) are of the opinion that they will win these court cases based on the fact that they, like every other person, have a right to private life.
Members of the British royal family very often, have had to face criticism, for allegedly not allowing enough access of information to the public, provided that they are publicly funded. Now the Duke and Duchess have shocked the world with this unprecedented decision. It seems that they are deeply affected by the interference of the public in their private life, so much, that they wish to leave.
Their decision to step back from leading roles in the royal family translates to no longer participating in the Royal Rota system which provides the UK with broadcasters and newspapers access to royal engagements. The above information has been provided by the official SussexRoyal website.
About the couple
Prince Harry, aged 35, younger son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana met Meghan Markle, a former actress, aged 38, back in 2016. They got married in a luxuriant, star-studded ceremonious manner at the St. George’s Chapel in Windsor in May 2018. The couple had their first child, Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor in May 2019.
The couple and baby Archie spent their latest Christmas holidays in Canada with Meghan’s mother. They had also paid a visit to the Canada House, in London, on Tuesday, in order to thank the officials for the hospitality shown to them whilst their visit.
Have other royal members attempted this before in history?
Experts say that there haven’t been any parallels before in British royal history who have done what the Sussexes are trying to do. So, this is something very new and it cannot be said whether it will work out or prove to be a failure.
In British royal history, nobody has ever stayed mid-way, it is either all in or all out as a working royal member. The situation is definitely complicated, the couple has given financial independence as a goal they wish to achieve. To that end, they have also made the decision to forego the advantage of the Sovereign Grant which is an allocation funding royal activities and salaries for the office. Questions on how they are going to finance their lives, still linger around.
However, people in the royal family have sort of stepped away from tradition and royal responsibilities, but under very different circumstances which involved marriage, divorce or some other controversy. Queen’s third child, Prince Andrew had stepped down from his public duties back in fall, as he had been alleged in a scandal. Before that, Princess Diana, Prince Harry’s mother was stripped of her royal styling after her divorce from Prince Charles. There have been other such incidences as well.
The news of this retreat by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has truly been an extraordinary one, as they only have grown increasingly isolated ever since their wedding in 2018. It is sure to be a jolt to one of the nation’s biggest institutions and people can’t wait to know what comes next.