Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, made a shocking announcement via Instagram on Wednesday (January 8), saying they plan to “step back” from the Royal Family in order to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution” and “work to become financially independent.”
In the statement, the couple say they made the decision “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
“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,” the statement reads. “It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”
The couple also says they want to split their time between Harry’s native United Kingdom and Meghan’s North America by “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,” the IG post reads.
Meghan, who is half Black, has faced relentless racist attacks from the British press since she and Harry went public with their romance.
Last October, the couple publicly revealed the trials and tribulations within their marriage under media spotlight. In an ITV documentary, Markle admitted motherhood was a “struggle” for her due to intense attention from media outlets and that friends of hers advised her not to marry Prince Harry in order to avoid stress from the media.