FROM MAJOR TO MINOR: Still on a high, and jet-lagged, from their seven-week sabbatical in the U.S. and Canada, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are making waves once again with news they want to step back from royal life and spend less time in the U.K.
Their plan is to renounce their status as senior members of the royal family, become financially independent and split their time between the U.K. and North America. Their Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s holiday clearly made a big impact on the couple, who traveled with their infant son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and spent extended time with Markle’s mother Doria Ragland.
While the announcement may have come as a surprise so soon after their arrival back in the U.K., any royal watcher could see this sort of decision coming. Harry and Meghan are both entangled in lawsuits with British tabloids, accusing them of invading their privacy.
The two positively bristle at having to live their lives in the spotlight: They were unnecessarily cagey about the details of Archie’s birth and the christening, refusing to reveal the names of the infant’s godparents, a norm for members of the royal family. Early in their marriage they moved out of Kensington Palace, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live, and onto the grounds of Windsor Castle, in order to stay below the radar.
In a statement posted on Instagram late Wednesday, the couple said they wanted to carve out a “progressive new role in this institution,” referring to the monarchy.
They said that while they want to step back from their senior royal roles and work toward living off their own money, they fully support Her Majesty The Queen and will continue to work with royal family members and entities.
The couple vowed to continue their royal work, and support their various charities while “balancing” their time between the U.K. and North America.
They said their new, cross-Atlantic lifestyle would enable them to raise Archie “with an appreciation for the royal tradition to which he was born,” and give them space “to focus on the next chapter,” including the launch of a new charitable entity.
Here’s the rub: Those royals can run, but they cannot hide.
Harry’s father, Prince Charles, will one day be King of England. Harry is the Queen’s grandson.
The British tabloid media has its tentacles everywhere, and even if the young couple decided to move to Outer Mongolia or the depths of Peru, renounce their titles and live like average Joe Millennials, they’d still be in the media’s sights.
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