Breaking: Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Are Stepping Back From Their Royal Duties

Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/WPA Pool/Getty Images.
Since officially joining the Royal Family, Meghan Markle has been making waves in the Firm, as it's often called. From her 2018 blickety-Black wedding to Prince Harry to her candid discussion of the pressure she faces, the Duchess of Sussex has proved that she's not bound to the royal rulebook. She and Harry are forging their own way, and that now comes with the shocking decision to take a step back from their duties as senior members of the Royal Family.
On Wednesday, the couple shocked the world when they released an official statement on Instagram:
"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 statement reads.
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"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."
Per the statement, the Sussexes are not severing ties with the Crown. It looks as though they will keep their titles and will be supporting the Queen in a number of ways. The couple will just have more say over their schedule, allowing them to continue supporting their numerous patronages around the world as they see fit.
This decision marks an important first for the Royal Family. During Queen Elizabeth's reign, only one person has ever stepped down from their duties, and it wasn't by choice. For Harry and Meghan, who are willingly making the transition, relinquishing their positions as senior members means that they will be able to pursue their own means of income and hopefully, establish a life for themselves outside of the Royal Family.
Taxpayers have always critiqued the Royal Family's every move, reasoning that their tax money, which technically fund the royals' lives, give them the right to comment on what they do. However, Harry and Meghan's emphasis on financial independence is also a pursuit of private citizenship; because they plan on making their own money, taxpayers will less say in what the couple does.
The major announcement comes right on the heels of inquiries about the couple's plans for 2020 following a hiatus from their official duties in Canada. Meghan and Harry spent six weeks there, taking their son Archie Harrison along to enjoy a much-needed vacation. In Canada, the family of three spent time with Meghan's mother Doria Ragland and other friends who came around with season's greetings. The visit was so pleasant, reports People, that Harry and Meghan are considering settling there permanently.
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Stepping out of the limelight could be a positive move for the couple. Meghan has been targeted by the British tabloids since she was first linked to the royal family, and Harry has been very vocal about his frustration with their mistreatment of his wife. He and Meghan even filed a lawsuit against the Mail and its parent company Associated Newspapers for publishing a private letter sent to Meghan's father. Now that they are actively working on becoming private citizens, there's no telling if Harry and Meghan's strained relationship with the tabloids will improve.
Nonetheless, the decision is a radical first step in creating a necessary boundary between themselves and the public, one that will allow the couple to live their lives as they see fit.
This is a developing story.
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