PRINCE HARRY and Meghan Markle announced earlier this week they would be stepping away from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family. The Queen is reported to be “disappointed” – but could the Monarch sack Prince Harry and take away his title as a result?
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex released a statement on Instagram to say they would be stepping down as senior members of the Royal Family. The message stated they would be aiming towards becoming “financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen.”
The message was met with shock from all sides, with reports senior royals did not know the Sussexes would be making a statement.
It appears the head of state tried to forestall any announcements after her grandson asked to meet at her private Sandringham estate, the Evening Standard newspaper reported, only to be “ignored” by the couple.
The Queen and other members of the Royal Family were said to be left “hurt” by Harry and Meghan’s decision to issue a personal statement.
The announcement was dubbed a “bolt from the blue” for Buckingham Palace, sources told PA.
Meghan and Harry’s Instagram post outlined their future lives as financially independent royals who will divide their time between the UK and North America.
The Sussexes said the news came “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
They added: “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.”
Will Queen sack Prince Harry and take away his title?
Following the announcement on Wednesday night, not much has been said by Buckingham Palace.
A statement from the Palace read: “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.”
However overnight it seems this time may have been hurried along by senior royals.
The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge have ordered their teams to find a “workable solution” over the future role of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex within the Royal Family.
A Buckingham Palace Source said the senior royals have asked aides to work “at pace” with the Government and The Sussex Household and an outcome was expected to take “days, not weeks”.
Whether Harry and Meghan will relinquish their titles and continue as civilians is unknown.
The couple may opt to drop all royal ties, and there have already been calls for them to lose their titles.
Norman Baker, a former Liberal Democrat MP and a Home Office minister in the coalition government, said “you can’t be one foot in, one foot out”.
Privy Council member Mr Baker, told Express.co.uk: “You are either a member of the royal family or you are not.”
He said Prince Harry is “entitled in my view to absent himself and become a private citizen”.
Mr Baker added: “But what he can’t do is becoming a private citizen, not doing royal duties and still have the state paying for him.”
Meghan and Harry have said they will split their time between North America and the UK, but not much else is known.
This could mean spending time with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland in the United States, or perhaps in Canada.
Canada is where the Sussexes spent their Christmas, opting not to attend festivities at the Queen’s Norfolk estate, Sandringham.
The festive season saw their eight-month-old son Archie celebrate his first Christmas, and the couple spent it privately with Ms Ragland.
Meghan received a public boost from her close friend Jessica Mulroney, a Canadian stylist and TV star, who posted a quote to social media attributed to Gina Carey, which said: “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.”
But a series of commentators have strongly criticised their decision with public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski saying about the Sussexes “It does feel like a royal couple in exile”.