Harry & Meghan
On 8th January 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made an announcement that shocked the world via their official Sussex Royal Instagram feed.
Harry and Meghan announced that they had made the decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family in order to become financially independent. This means that they will no longer be involved in any Royal duties including all military appointments, as of Spring 2020. They announced that they intend to repay the Sovereign Grant in full used to recently refurbish Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, which will remain their home in the UK. It has been confirmed that they will split their time between Canada and the UK with Meghan flying to Canada within days of the statement. Harry remained in the UK to fulfil some long-standing charity appointments.
The Queen released a statement on 18th January 2020 stating that whilst Harry and Meghan would keep their Duke and Duchess titles, they would no longer be referred to as ‘HRH’. The Queen confirmed that the couple has her full support and will continue to be much-loved members of her family, saying “I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.” It was announced that the couple would no longer receive any public funds from their Royal duties but have confirmed that the couple will continue to support The Queen and uphold her values.
While rumours swirl as to why the couple made this decision, Harry spoke publicly about their announcement on 20th January saying he had “great sadness” that he and Meghan would no longer represent the Queen in their duties.
He shared a video of himself talking at a charity event on Instagram saying; “The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.”
He added; “The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no option.”
Meghan was photographed in Canada this week with baby Archie in a carry sling, walking her beloved dogs, with members of both British and Canadian security, sparking debate about who should pay for their protective services. This has not yet been decided but, of course, will be confirmed in due time.