Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s Drama: Everything to Know
and Prince Harry surprised the British public — and multiple royal relatives, apparently — by announcing on Wednesday, January 9, that they Duchess Meghan intend to “step back” from their duties as senior members of the royal family.
“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,” they wrote in an Instagram statement released on Wednesday. “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.”
They stated that their new lives will involve a relocation in North America — for part of the time anyway — after leaving son
Archie in Canada under the care of Meghan’s friend and a nanny following the family’s Christmas celebrations there. “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,” they added. “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.” Jessica Mulroney
Harry and Meghan said that they “look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course” and will “continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties.”
The announcement, however, threw some of those “relevant parties” — including Harry’s older brother,
, and grandmother Prince William — for a loop. Scroll down to read more about the ensuing drama. Queen Elizabeth II
Harry and Meghan’s Announcement
After the royal couple announced their transition on Wednesday, a source confirmed to
Us Weekly that they were forced to share the news early because The Sun was prepping a story on the same topic. A source previously told Us that Harry and Meghan issued the statement without the blessing of Queen Elizabeth II. “It’s not that they didn’t care — it was a miscommunication,” the source said.
Buckingham Palace Responds
Hours after the announcement, Buckingham Palace
issued its own statement. “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the palace, headed by Queen Elizabeth II, said in the statement on Wednesday. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
Thomas Markle Is ‘Disappointed’
, Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle expressed his dismay about the news exclusively to Us on Wednesday. “I’ll just simply say I’m disappointed,” he said.
Prince William Is ‘Blindsided’
“William was blindsided by Harry and Meghan’s decision and statement,” a source exclusively told
Us on Wednesday, explaining the reaction of Harry’s older brother. “William is incredibly hurt, but at the same time he has his own family to focus on and is trying to move forward with his life.”
As the news unfolded, stars
gave their take on social media. “And that folks, is what power looks like,” tweeted. Jameela Jamil extended an “open invite for the Duchess to join #RHOBH,” meanwhile, and Andy Cohen Ava DuVernay offered to direct a season of The Crown devoted to Harry and Meghan’s drama.
Broadimage/Shutterstock; Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/Shutterstock; Tim Rooke/Shutterstock (inset)
Royal Family Members Take Action
“The Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge have
directed their teams to work at pace with governments and the Sussexes’ office to find workable solutions, and this is expected to take days, not weeks,” a palace source told Us on Thursday, January 9.
Samantha Markle Speaks Out
, Meghan’s half-sister, Samantha Markle slammed the royal couple in an interview with on Thursday. “It is a slap in the face,” she said. “I think what is shocking is the lack of consideration for the people involved, the British royal family, the promises that were originally made to honor royal duties and to lead by example.” Inside Edition
Meghan Returns to Canada
Amid the hubbub, CNN reported on Friday, January 10, that the former
Suits star had traveled to Canada.
Queen Elizabeth II Steps Out
The British monarch
looked concerned while out for a drive through her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, on Friday.
News Licensing / MEGA
Deal With Disney
Meghan reportedly signed a voiceover deal with Disney amid the royal drama. According to reports, the
Suits alum’s contract requests that a contribution of her salary will be given to the wildlife charity Elephants Without Borders.
Will’s Still Hurt
“William’s done everything in his power to help his brother over the years and feels totally let down by his ‘reckless’ and ‘selfish’ actions. The way he sees it,
Harry’s thrown all the good advice he gave him back in his face,” an insider told Us. “When Harry was feeling low or had problems, William was always there for him, as was Kate. Kate’s incredibly hurt too. She acted as a mentor to Harry before Meghan came into the picture and hates seeing her husband so upset.”
According to an insider, the queen was “furious” but
“urging” the brothers “to put on a united front” as the situation continued to make headlines. “But right now, William and Harry refuse to make amends — they’re both being stubborn, especially Harry.”
The two princes, did, however,
release a rare joint statement to denyhat William’s “bullying attitude” led the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step down on January 13: “Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a U.K. newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge. For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.” The Times of London’s story t
on January 12. Tom Bradby teased Harry and Meghan’s first interview after stepping down in an op-ed for the Sunday Times
“I have some idea of what might be aired in a full, no-holds-barred, sit-down interview and I don’t think it would be pretty,” he wrote, noting that “a protracted war could be very bloody” if the royal family doesn’t broker a “meaningful peace deal” with the couple.
Harry and William met with their dad and the queen on January 13. After the meeting,
the monarch broke her silence on the drama. “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the statement read. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
The statement continued: “Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
An Agreement Reached
announced in a statement on January 18, 2020, that she and the couple had come to an agreement about their new roles, which will see Harry and Meghan lose their His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness titles and completely step down as working members of the royal family. “Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the monarch said. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much-loved members of the family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
Buckingham Palace stared in a statement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said they wish to repay the Sovereign Grant money that was spent on refurbishing Frogmore Cottage at the queen’s Windsor estate, which will remain their U.K. home.
The agreement will also see the couple keeping their patronages, except for Harry’s three military roles: Captain General Royal Marines, Royal Air Force: Squadron Leader, Small Ships and Diving, and Royal Naval Command: Commodore-in-Chief, ABC News reported.
Their transition period will be complete in spring 2020, but
Harper’s Bazaar‘s royal correspondent Omid Scobie reported that there is the option for the agreement to be reviewed in 2021.
Source : Dan Clarendon