Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to ‘Step Back’ From Royal Family

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry (Credit: Shutterstock)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced Wednesday they plan to “step back” from royal duties.

“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,” the two said in a statement.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex added that they want to work to become financially independent, while also supporting the Queen.

“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,” they said.

The couple said they will spend more time in North America.

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America,” they said. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born.”

Hours later, the royal family responded to the couple’s announcement.

“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,” the royal family said in a statement.

Harry and Meghan’s announcement came after the couple sued British tabloid Mail on Sunday in October, accusing the paper of publishing “false” and “derogatory stories” about Markle.

Later that month, the duchess fought back tears in a TV interview as she discussed the pressures of royal life and the intense media scrutiny in the U.K.

“Look, any woman, especially when they are pregnant, you’re really vulnerable, and so that was made really challenging,” she told ITV host Tom Bradby. “Thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m okay.”

Harry and Meghan broke with tradition and spent the Christmas holiday in Canada.