Earlier today, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to “step back” from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Everyone is, as they say, shook—including Buckingham Palace, apparently.
The palace just reacted to the news with a statement of their own. “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the palace said in a statement. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” (Is it just us or does it sound like Harry and Meghan pulled a fast one? Just speculating—carry on.)
The announcement by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to essentially resign from their roles within the royal family came in an Instagram post, stating, “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.”
And while the Queen’s offices sound a little surprised, we can’t say the signs weren’t there. Markle has faced intense scrutiny by British tabloids since she and Prince Harry married in May 2018, and the couple has been unusually candid about the situation in recent months. In early 2019, they announced their split from the Royal Foundation to start their own charity, and in November they took a leave of absence from royal duties, skipping both the NATO summit reception at Buckingham Palace and the Queen’s Christmas festivities.