In the last few weeks, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a big announcement: they would relinquish their roles as “senior” members of the Royal Family and become financially independent.
On May 19, 2018, Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, becoming the Duchess of Sussex. In May of last year, she and Harry welcomed a baby into their family, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Ever since Meghan joined the Royal Family, she has made it clear that life has been anything but easy. Markle is an African-American woman from the States with a previous divorce, causing her to feel like an outsider. The family has noted that Markle is often criticized by the British media as well as the public because of her differences. In the end, this is being considered a big factor that prompted the couple’s decision to separate themselves from the family.
Prince Harry and Meghan originally announced their plans to step back from their royal duties and spend part of each year in North America. However, a crisis occurred in the family because of the abrupt nature of the decision. To end it, a deal was negotiated by aides to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry, and other senior family members to end the chaos. According to The New York Times, the agreement states that the couple “will stop using their loftiest royal titles, give up state funding and repay at least $3 million in taxpayer money used to refurbish their official residence at Windsor Castle.”
While Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line of succession, both Harry and Meghan will no longer use their titles “His Royal Highness” or “Her Royal Highness” although they are still considered the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Queen Elizabeth accepted their desire to leave, and stated that she recognized the challenges the couple “have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.” Harry and Meghan have also stated that they will continue carrying out duties for the queen as well as upholding her values through the next chapter of their life.