The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are officially distancing themselves from royal life. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle released a statement, via their @SussexRoyal Instagram, announcing that they will taking a “step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent.”
Prince Harry and Meghan revealed that they will continue to “fully support” the Queen and work with other members of the family, including Prince William and Prince Charles. The Sussexes are planning on some serious physical separation from the rest of the royals in the U.K., however, they will now split their time between the U.K. and North America.
“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,” the couple wrote.
The news comes just as Prince Harry and Meghan return to the U.K. from their six-week break from royal engagements; they opted not to go to Sandringham with the rest of the royal family, and instead spent the holiday privately with their son, Archie, in Canada. The timing makes it even more likely that the couple will be spending a large portion of their time in Canada—it’s a Commonwealth country that both Prince Harry and Meghan are quite familiar with, and yesterday, the Sussexes went to Canada House to thank the staff for their hospitality and help during their stay. Meghan also said that Archie was in awe of the surrounding nature in Canada.
The Sussexes haven’t confirmed anything about their specific North American location just yet, however, and it’s still possible that Prince Harry and Meghan will scoop up a home somewhere within the United States, especially since the Duchess of Sussex is from Los Angeles, where her mother still resides. Perhaps they’ll just purchase that residence in Malibu they’ve reportedly been eyeing.
The announcement isn’t entirely shocking, though—both Prince Harry and Meghan have openly discussed their difficulties with the media in the past year, and the Duchess of Sussex filed a lawsuit against Associated Newspapers last year.
It’s not yet clear where the Sussexes will live when they’re in the U.K., and if they’ll continue to reside at their Windsor residence, Frogmore Cottage, which was a gift from Queen Elizabeth. For now, it seems Prince Harry and Meghan are keeping their royal titles, at least according to their Instagram.