Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Have Stepped Down as Senior Members of the Royal Family

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Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
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It's been a long time coming, but the news is still pretty shocking. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced Wednesday that they're officially stepping down as senior members of the royal family. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared the news on Instagram, just a day after making their first public appearance since mid-November.

  • The Sussexes are not only stepping down, but they're also apparently leaving the country.

    Harry and Meghan 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."

    They continued, "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," they concluded.

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  • The news comes just one day after Harry and Meghan returned to work after a six-week break, spent in America and Canada.

    They visited Canada House in London on Tuesday, where they met with the high commissioner to the United Kingdom, Janice Charette, to express their gratitude for "the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay."

  • It was also rumored earlier this week that Harry and Meghan were plotting a major move.

    Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie Harrison
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    Author and journalist Tom Bradby (the man behind the ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey) told Good Morning Britain on Wednesday that the Sussexes were "considering their options."

    He explained, "I think the truth is there is a lot going on, a lot going on within the royal family and, I don't know, and I don't think they know what their future is going to be and what their position is going to be.

    "It's no big secret in their friends that they have been considering their options in the future," Bradby continued. "I don't ask what their plans are. They keep that pretty close to their chest and understandably so. I don't think it's a done deal, that would be my impression. I think there's a lot of talking to be done, there are a million possibilities, they could go to Canada."

  • We admit we're pretty stunned by the news, but also kind of amazed at their bold move.

    Prince Harry, Meghan Markle
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    It's no secret that Meghan has had a rough go of it since joining the royal family, and she even admitted in the Africa documentary to being "not OK." Prince Harry also confessed that he and William have had some issues and tension, but he did add that at the end of the day, they're still brothers.

    Obviously something in their life needed to change, and they're taking a huge step to make it happen. They need to take care of their own mental health, their marriage, and their son, and if they have to step away from being senior members of the royal family, then so be it.

    We wish them nothing but the best, and are looking forward to seeing what's next for them!