01/10/2020

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on Instagram that they would ‘step back as senior members’ of Britain’s royal family.

Following a period of speculation by royals fans over what would be next for Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, the couple has announced they plan to step back as “senior members” of Britain’s royal family.
In a statement shared on their official Instagram page Wednesday, the Sussexes announced they will be transitioning away from their roles as “senior” royals and will begin splitting their time between the U.K. and North America in 2020.
“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,” the Duke and Duchess said in the statement. “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 announcement comes after Harry, Meghan and their infant son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, were absent from the royal family’s Christmas celebration while spending“extended family time” with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, in Canada over the 2019 holiday season.
“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 statement read.
They ended the announcement with a promise to share the full details of this next step in their lives “in due course.”
Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com.