Prince Harry and The Duchess of Sussex have, this afternoon, announced they are stepping back from being senior members of the royal family, and will transition to being “members of the Royal Family with financial independence”.
In their official statement, the couple 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. 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.sussexroyal.com
In addition to this new working model, the Sussexes announced a new media policy for themselves:
In the spring of 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be adopting a revised media approach to ensure diverse and open access to their work. This adjustment will be a phased approach as they settle into the new normality of their updated roles. This updated approach aims to:sussexroyal.com
– Engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists;
– Invite specialist media to specific events/engagements to give greater access to their cause-driven activities, widening the spectrum of news coverage;
– Provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events;
– Continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communications channels;
– No longer participate in the Royal Rota system.
Buckingham Palace has issued a statement in response, saying:
Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.royal.uk
In addition to that statement, Jonny Dymond, BBC royal correspondent, reports:
BBC Understands that no other member of the Royal Family was consulted before Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement tonight, the Palace is understood to be ‘disappointed’.Jonny Dymond Twitter
Yikers, there is so much to unpack here! I’m still processing my own thoughts about this, so I will be back later with my own opinions, but I wanted to get this up as a preliminary post with just the statements.