Hot off the press! Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are stepping down as ‘senior royals.’
He abdicated??? No no. Abdication is only when a King or a Queen give up the throne. Like when Prince Harry’s great-granduncle, Edward, abdicated the throne in 1936 to marry American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. This sort of ‘stepping down’ has been done before – recently his uncle, Prince Andrew, also ‘withdrew’ from public life for personal reasons.
But why did they do it? They haven’t actually given a particular reason. The glare of the media may have had a role to play. Harry has seen his mother, the late Princess Diana, and his wife being ruthlessly targeted by the media. He was furious with the British tabloid for being racist and sexist towards Meghan.
Did Her Royal Highness know about this? The Queen? No. In fact, no one did. Harry’s father, Prince Charles and his brother, Prince William, both heard of the decision like the rest of us did, on Instagram.
Uh oh. That must not have gone down well? A royal source has been quoted saying, “There is a lot of hurt about this.” The official response from Buckingham Palace was short: “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.”
Seems very British. Guess it was. It was quite a shock to the royal family.
So what’s next? Well, Harry and Meghan have said that they want to live between the UK and North America. Meghan is known to love Canada, and her mother lives in the US in California. They have also said that they are working towards being financially independent and are focussing on a new charitable entity, but have not revealed any details about that.
How do the Royals support their lifestyle anyway? Last year, Prince Harry got 5% of the Sovereign Grant – the amount of money that The Queen gets every year from the Government to support her official duties. Harry and his brother also received around £5 million from his father, Prince Charles. This is all public money and many citizens wonder if they should be paying so much. The flip side is that the royals brings in about £1.8 billion to the UK economy every year, mainly through tourism.
So they have to give up their cute cottage too? Luckily for them, no. They can continue to live at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor when they are in the UK.
Do they keep their royal titles? As we said, he has not left the family – he’s just taking a back seat of sorts. So yes, they will keep their titles. They have also been very clear that they continue to support the Monarchy, and the different charities they are associated with. They will “carry out their duties on behalf of the monarchy when called upon”, though that may not be as often as before for sure.
What about their adorable son Archie? And any other children they may have? They will be just that, lovely children. Nothing really will change for them. Many of his father’s cousins like Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, are not working royals and carry out no royal duties. So all’s well that ends well!
Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.