Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, opted for a more independent life by stepping back from their post as senior members of the royal family.
U.K. media were quick to call the move “Megxit,” comparing the couple’s decision to Britain’s departure from the EU.
The couple tied the knot in a fairytale May wedding in 2018 and were styled as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex by Queen Elizabeth II.
Harry is a well-known member of the British Royal Family as the son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales and grandson to the queen. Meghan on the other hand, was an actress in the U.S. legal drama Suits and living in Toronto.
In their engagement interview, the couple said they met on a blind date and fell in love.
Their move stepping back from royal duties came as a surprise to the royal watchers but also to the royal family as the couple did not inform the queen about their statement Jan. 8.
Harry and Meghan in their recent Africa tour spoke exclusively to ITV, the U.K. TV channel, and talked about how the last two years was hard for them because of media scrutiny.
“Everything that she went through, and what happened to her, is incredibly important every single day, and that is not me being paranoid,” said Harry, referring to his late-mother Diana and her relation with the press which ultimately played a big part in her death according to some.
Harry further said, he fears the same thing will happen to his wife and wants to protect her from the same faith.
Harry’s mother, Diana, died in a car crash in Paris when he was just 12 while being followed by paparazzi on motorbikes.
“Part of this job is putting on a brave face but, for me and my wife, there is a lot of stuff that hurts, especially when the majority of it is untrue,” he added.
Meghan for her part said, the U.K. tabloid coverages of her were not “fair” and she is not doing OK under such harsh scrutiny.
The couple is currently in a legal battle with the Mail on Sunday, a U.K. newspaper, over a claim that it unlawfully published one of Meghan’s private letter to her father.
After many discussions in the interview and legal battle, the couple announced they are stepping back from royal duties on Jan. 8.
“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,” said the statement from the couple.
“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 added.
Queen Elizabeth II on Jan. 13 met Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry in Sandringham, England for a face-to-face talk.
Queen Elizabeth II, after the meeting, said she is “entirely supportive” of Harry and Meghan in their decision to create a new life as a young family.
“Although we would have preferred to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,” the queen said.
The 93-year-old monarch also said the final decision will come in weeks.
On Saturday, the queen announced Harry and Meghan will no longer be part of the British Royal Family in a hearty statement.
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” said the queen.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” she said, adding that she is proud of Meghan for “quickly” becoming one of the family.
The duke and duchess of Sussex will no longer take part in official military appointments and will not receive public funds for their royal duties, the statement said.
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH [his/her royal highness] titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family,” also said the queen.
“Royal highness” (abbreviated HRH for his or her royal highness) is a style used for addressing or referring to certain royal family members, usually princes or princesses. “Majesty” is usually reserved for monarchs and their consorts.
The palace did not comment on the couple’s plans to make an income outside of the royal family and it seems like royal watchers around the world will have a lot to talk about in the future.
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