Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry made history when, on January 8th, they announced that they would be stepping down as senior members of the royal family. The couple revealed that they want to work towards becoming financially independent while still “continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
The announcement sent shock waves around the world, with royal fans scrambling to understand what it all meant. In the meantime, the royal family has been reeling as they try to sort through their emotions and work towards achieving some sort of agreement with Prince Harry and Meghan.
Did the royal family know that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be resigning?
Prince Harry & Meghan, Duchess of Sussex | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
When Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry posted their statement to their Instagram page on January 8th, they probably couldn’t have predicted the media firestorm that would follow. Instantly, many royal watchers’ thoughts turned to Queen Elizabeth, and how she would respond to the news. Shockingly, it seems as though the queen might not have even known the extent of the couple’s plans.
Only hours after Meghan and Prince Harry released their statement, the palace sent out their own response. It read, in part: “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.”
Many took this statement to indicate that the queen was blindsided by Meghan and Prince Harry’s announcement and that even if she knew that the couple was unhappy with the state of their roles within the royal family, she was in no way ready for them to announce retirement from royal duties.
The royal family has been grappling with their emotions
Other members of the royal family have been struggling in the light of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement as well. Some reports have claimed that Prince Charles is furious with his son, and has even threatened to completely cut them off financially if they do end up stepping away from all of their royal duties. A good portion of the couple’s income is through Prince Charles, via the Duchy of Cornwall.
Reportedly, Prince William is quite upset about his brother’s announcement as well. They chose to post the big news on social media the day before Kate Middleton’s birthday, which no doubt cast a somber light on what would have otherwise been a day of celebration. In addition, some news outlets have claimed that Prince William was also one of those parties who had no idea that Prince Harry and Meghan would be making such a bold announcement.
Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry get fired?
No matter how the royal family felt when they first found out, they quickly buckled down to the business of sorting out Prince Harry and Meghan’s new positions within the royal family. In recent days, the queen has shown that she wants to work with the couple in order to give them the life that they want, so it seems unlikely that they will get fired outright in spite of how many royal feathers they might have ruffled.
In a statement released on January 13th, the queen revealed that “my family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.” While many details seem to still be up in the air, for the time being, Meghan and Prince Harry are likely going to get their way and will in fact be doing things on their own terms in 2020.
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