Meghan and Harry Leave the Royal Family

Callan Engstrom, Editor

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Image courtesy of Insider.com

  In a statement released on their official instagram account, Harry and Meghan, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced that they will officially be parting ways with the British Royal Family. On Wednesday, January 8th, the royal couple announced, “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.” This statement came out of left field for the Royal officials, who, according to the AP News article, “Harry, Meghan to quit royal jobs, give up ‘highness’ titles”, were pressured into releasing the statement before being cleared by the Royal family due to pressure from a leak to the media. 

  For many Royal insiders, Meghan and Harry’s stepping away from royal duties does not come as a surprise. They have long been vocal about facing harassment and resentment from the media, especially the British tabloids. The same AP News article cited the time in October, when Meghan Markle sued a tabloid newspaper for publishing personal and defamatory information. Harry has been vocal about what he views as racial charged criticism towards his wife, who is the first American, as well as the first person of color in the British Royal family. Various media outlets such as Buzzfeed have published articles such as, “Here Are 20 Headlines Comparing Meghan Markle To Kate Middleton That May Show Why She And Prince Harry Are Cutting Off Royal Reporters”, highlighting the brutality of the way the UK media have treated Meghan in the recent years. 

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Meghan and Harry pictures with Kate and William. Image courtesy of Time.

 Following their public announcements, the couple met with the Queen and William, Duke of Cambridge to discuss parameters of their departure from the family. According to NPR article, “Meghan And Harry ‘Step Back’ As Royals — What Does That Mean, Exactly?”, it was announced on January 18th that Meghan and Harry will become financially independent, meaning that they will no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, the British public funding that supports the official duties of the queen and maintains the palaces occupied by members of the royal family. They will now be able to work and earn income, which they are not permitted to do in their current roles. Harry and Meghan will also give up the titles, “Royal Highness”, but remain Duke and Duchess of Susex. Additionally, according to the previous AP News, they will also pay back the 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million) in taxpayers’ money spent renovating a house for them near Windsor Castle.

  Meghan and Harry will be living primarily in Canada, while continuing to own residences in the UK and the US. “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,” they wrote.

Meghan, Harry, and son Archie shown with the Queen. Image courtesy of Vanity Fair.

  This announcement caused national uproar in the UK, as well as national front-page headlines in the US and other countries. The royal family has shown mixed reactions to the pair’s departure, ranging from betrayal to encouragement. Queen Elizabeth II of England said she was pleased that “together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognize the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life, it is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2020/01/09/795046626/meghan-and-harry-step-back-as-royals-what-does-that-mean-exactly

https://apnews.com/5bfcbf944904be1ce273d2d14618b624

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/meghan-markle-kate-middleton-double-standards-royal