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Harry and Meghan announce split from royal family

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have quit their jobs as senior members of the royal family.

In an unprecedented move, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they will “step back” as senior members of the royal family and work to become “financially independent” (full statement below).

They will split their timing living between the UK and North America and have made it clear they will continue to “fully support” the Queen.

The couple has previously spoken about their struggle to deal with intense media scrutiny.

The BBC is reporting Buckingham Palace didn’t know about Harry and Meghan’s decision before the statement was released.

Buckingham Palace has now released its own statement, confirming discussions with Harry and Meghan are “at an early stage”.

UK correspondent Adam Gilchrist tells John Stanley it’s an unexpected move.

“I think it’s caught a few people on the back foot.

“It feels a bit like we’re losing him and her. It’s an oddity.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Full statement from Buckingham Palace:

A personal message from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex:

“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.”

 

Image: BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

JOHN STANLEY
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