Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announce They Are Stepping Down From The Royal Family
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have dramatically announced they are stepping down from their roles in the royal family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the announcement on Wednesday evening, also revealing that they will now be splitting their time between the UK and North America.
In an official statement, Harry and Meghan said: "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."
We don't think the pair will be worrying about the gas bills any time soon; Meghan amassed around £3.8m in her previous life as an actress, while her husband is worth an estimated £30m, in addition to a trust fund and dividends from his late mother's estate.
The couple added: "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."
Before signing off: "Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."
The news comes after the couple spent Christmas away from the royal family on a six-week break in Canada, where Meghan previously lived for seven years while filming Suits. The unusual move sparked rumours of tensions within the family among mounting speculation the pair were considering relocating.
In a break with the royals' traditional stiff upper lip, Harry and Meghan haven't shied away from discussing the pressures of life in the public eye.
Speaking in their ITV documentary filmed in South Africa last October, former actress Meghan admitted to feeling "really vulnerable" facing negative headlines when pregnant, and while raising her son Archie.
Meanwhile, Harry has said that living in the spotlight has meant that the death of his mother, Princess Diana, was still a "wound that festers".
"I think being part of this family, and this role, and this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back," he said.
"In that respect ... it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best."
The 38-year-old Duchess and the 35-year-old Duke welcomed their little boy, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, on 6th May last year, almost a year to the day after their wedding at Windsor Castle.
Harry has previously expressed he only wanted to have two children in an interview with British Vogue last year. Discussing climate change in relation to bringing up children with primatologist Jade Goodall, he said: "Two, maximum!"
It is not known whether the couple intend to keep their royal titles.