Royal News Roundup: From Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Stepping Down to Kate Middleton’s Birthday

Here, all the royal news you need to know for the week of January 9, 2020.  

  • The royal family released a new portrait on Instagram to celebrate the start of the new year. Prince George, Prince William and Prince Charles joined Queen Elizabeth for the historic photo, which was taken just before the queen’s annual Christmas luncheon at Buckingham Palace on December 18. And George looks so grown up.
  • Kate Middleton and Prince William joined Queen Elizabeth in Sandringham for Sunday morning church service at St. Mary Magdalene to kick off Middleton’s pre-birthday celebrations. Unlike past royal outings, Middleton was accompanied by an entourage of guests, including her parents, Carole and Michael.
meghan markle prince harry canada house1
Yui Mok/PA Images/Getty Images
  • On Tuesday, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attended their first royal engagement of 2020 and paid a visit to Canada House in London. While there, Prince Harry and Markle met with Janice Charette, the High Commissioner in Canada to the U.K, as well as staff members who provided them with warm hospitality during their recent trip to Canada. Prince Harry also suggested that Markle talk to them in French during the event. 
  • Prince William and Kate Middleton announced Wednesday that their first joint engagement will take place on Monday, January 20. Prince William and Middleton will host a reception at Buckingham Palace in honor of the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit. The actual summit will be hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The goal is to educate businesses, governments and international institutions on all the different investment opportunities in Africa.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are breaking from their royal duties. On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed that they’re stepping down as “senior” members of the royal family. The couple announced the news on their joint Instagram account and shared a lengthy caption explaining their decision.
  • 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.)
  • On Thursday, Kensington Palace released a stunning portrait of the Duchess of Cambridge in honor of her 38th birthday. It wasn’t long before Meghan Markle and Prince Harry commented on the Instagram photo of the duchess. "Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Cambridge today!” So we guess all is well?
  • Just hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed that they are stepping back as senior members of the royal family, Madame Tussauds moved Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wax figures away from the rest of the royal gang. Both figures previously stood alongside Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince William and Kate Middleton.
frogmore cottage

Want to know more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big announcement? 

prince charles and camilla parker bowles posing together
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Where We'll See Them Next:

Prince William and Middleton will host a reception at Buckingham Palace in honor of the U.K.-Africa Investment Summit on Monday, January 20. 

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles will embark on a tour of Israel and Poland from January 23 to January 27.