On January 8, via @sussexroyal on Instagram, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they were no longer affiliating in their roles as members of the British Royal Family. They made it clear from the beginning of their post that they are going to “work to become financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
The couple explained that they are going to spend their time between both the United Kingdom and North America, prioritizing their family, especially their eight-month-old son born in May 2019, Archie. They also explained that they have intentions to continue charitable ties with Harry’s still-royal family with the announcement of a future philanthropic venture. “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.” AP News claims “The couple’s desire to separate from the rest of the family had been the subject of media speculation for months. But they angered senior royals by revealing their plans on Instagram and a new website without advance clearance from the queen or palace officials.”
The couple is additionally no longer going to be using the His/Her Royal Highness titles. AP News states, “Harry’s late mother, Diana, was stripped of the Her Royal Highness title when she and Prince Charles divorced. They will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line to the British throne.” AP News also details that the effects of this decision will take full effect in the spring of 2020.
Since the announcement was not cleared by the Queen, AP News claims that “Elizabeth summoned Harry, William, and Charles, to an unusual crisis meeting at her rural retreat in eastern England in an effort to find common ground. The result was Saturday’s agreement, which is different from Harry and Meghan’s initial proposal that they planned to combine a new, financially independent life with a reduced set of royal duties.” On January 13, via the Royal Family’s official website, the Queen of England released a statement on the matter of Harry and Meghan leaving behind royal titles for a different lifestyle. “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family. My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family. Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives…These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done.” It is very obvious that this is hard for all members of the family in different ways. It is also clearly very encouraging that the Queen is publically supportive of the couple.
There are many reasons why Harry and Meghan would feel prompted to leave their Royal Duties behind. Ever since the announcement of their engagement, the media has hounded them throughout their wedding, Meghan’s pregnancy, the birth of Archie and even after. The Grio reported on the media taking it to another level: “The bitter feud with the media reached new depths in October when Meghan launched legal action against a newspaper for publishing a letter she wrote to her father. Prince Harry has taken his wife’s side unconditionally in the face of the blatantly racist undertones in some of the reporting.” As he should be.
On a personal opinion note, I think we need to just leave Harry and Meghan alone for some peace and quiet. Harry has had a media following his whole life, escalating so much around his mother especially and it resulted in her death. Rightly so, I think we can safely assume that he has probably feared the same outcome for his family. As a new father, I think he just wants to protect his family. With the incredibly nasty press-frenzy hounding Meghan, evidently much worse than his brother, William, and wife, Kate Middleton, I think Harry is, smartly so, just trying to create an insurance for the vitality and longevity of his new family. With that being said, I think we just need to leave them alone. They clearly just want to be at least quasi-normal people. I also think if we do not want the media to pursue them so terribly like they did Diana, we just need to give them privacy. They said they would still come around again with their new philanthropic plans with the Royal family. Is that not enough?