Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, said they are planning “to step back” as senior members of the royal family, a stunning revelation that underscores the wish of the couple to forge a new path for the royals in the modern world.
A statement issued by Buckingham Palace said Wednesday the royal couple intend to become financially independent, shunning public support, to underpin their work on charities. It said they intend to “balance” their time between the U.K. and North America, where the 38-year-old Duchess of Sussex grew up.
“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 couple said in a statement. “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."
Harry, 35, is a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and is sixth in line to the British throne.
Before marrying Harry in 2018, the duchess was the American actress known as Meghan Markle and a star of the TV show “Suits.” The royal couple has a baby son Archie, who was born in May 2019.
Although as an actress and human rights advocate the duchess was accustomed to media attention before her marriage, she has made no secret of the fact that the transition to the level of celebrity faced by Britain's royal family was difficult.
Patt Morrison, expert on all things Royal Family-related; LA Times columnist and author of the book, “Don’t Stop the Presses! Truth, Justice and the American Newspaper” (Angel City Press, 2018)
Rich Preston, senior foreign news reporter, BBC News; he tweets @RichPreston