Prince Harry and Meghan Markle just announced one of the biggest relationship decisions of their life—besides deciding to get married, of course. The couple has decided to step down as senior members of the Royal Family and yes, we are just as shocked as you are.
The couple shared the difficult decision on Instagram in a post featuring a photo from the day they announced their engagement. “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 caption began. "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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."
But, there is a silver lining in this unexpected news. They went on to reveal that they will be balancing their time between the United Kingdom and North America (Markle was born and raised in California and was living in Canada when she met Prince Harry). Since they'll be spending more time on this side of the pond, perhaps there's a chance we could become Markle's next BFF? "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," they explained.
Still, the news has a left with mixed emotions. We definitely won't be seeing much of the pair on official royal outings. And, who knows when the next we will see them standing side by side with Kate Middleton and Prince William will be?
The Duke and Duchess have assured us, however, that there are exciting things to come in 2020. "We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties," they wrote. "Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."
Shortly after the news broke, Queen Elizabeth II's office responded with a statement, writing, "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."