Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family and plan to become ‘financially independent’.
Their statement read: “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.”
The couple went on to discuss Archie and their plans to raise him with an “appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born”.
They said: “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.”
The couple have just returned to the UK from a six week Christmas break in Canada.
(Image: Getty Images)
After their return to London, it was quickly speculated they would be splitting their time between Canada and the UK and dropping their ‘HRH’ titles.
When in the UK, the couple reside at their Windsor home, Frogmore Cottage – which was renovated last year at the taxpayers’ cost of £2.4million.
Renovations on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace reportedly cost £4.5 million, while work on their home Anmer Hall in Norfolk ran to £1.5 million.
They came under scrutiny over the summer for their use of private jets, which were paid for by the couple and Elton John.
(Image: Cobra / BACKGRID)
(Image: Alamy Stock Photo)
Before she married into the family Meghan, who had a successful acting career, had a personal fortune of around £3.8m, according to The Independent.
Prince Harry’s fortune is thought to stand at around £30m, much of which he inherited from his mother Princess Diana and the Queen Mother.
A large chunk of their operating income came from the Duchy of Cornwall, an estate which funds the public, private and charitable activities of Prince Charles and his family.
In 2018 Prince Charles paid £4.9 million to Harry, William and their partners from the Duchy.
(Image: Adam Gerrard / Daily Mirror)
Earlier this year, Meghan and Harry took part in an ITV documentary with Tom Bradby in which they revealed they had been through a tough year.
Meghan became emotional as she said she had found being in the public eye while pregnant extremely difficult.
Good Morning Britain presenter, Piers Morgan, who has been critical of the couple in the past, posted a scathing tweet about the announcement.
He said: “People say I’m too critical of Meghan Markle – but she ditched her family, ditched her Dad ditched most of her old friends, split Harry from William and has now split him from the Royal Family. I rest my case.”
We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates, pictures and video on this breaking news story.