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 role as “senior” royals and will begin splitting their time between the U.K. and North America in 2020.

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“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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. 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. 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. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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“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 roles as “senior” members of the Royal Family, and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”

Shortly after the statement was shared, Buckingham Palace also posted its own short response.

“Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

The announcement comes after Harry, Meghan and their young 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.”
-Time