Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle announced Wednesday that they have decided to give up their prominent role in the British royal family to settle part of the year in North America by planning to work to become "financially independent, while continuing to support the Queen ”.
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“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 honor 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. ”- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on Jan 8, 2020 at 10:33 am PST
In a statement, the royal family said "understand" the couple's desire to distance themselves from their royal functions but warned that this withdrawal was "complicated" and would take "time".
This decision had the effect of a thunderclap in the United Kingdom. Starting with the press that does not mince words to attack Harry and Meghan.
The "capricious duchess"
"They didn't even tell the queen," said the Daily Mirror, speaking out against Harry's selfishness. Phil Dampier, the journalist and author goes even further in the Telegraph.
"The queen is going to be totally devastated by this. It's the last thing she needs. She has a lot of affection for Harry, but however we want to present the case, what happens is that Harry and Meghan withdraw from their obligations and run away. For their part, Charles and William are "furious" according to The Sun.
For the most famous tabloid in England, it is even a "Megixt" in reference to Brexit. For the Times, this announcement carries "all the signs of selfishness and impulsiveness for which Prince Harry is now sadly known." They also have a hard tooth for the "capricious duchess", who would be behind this departure.
Even the Financial Times wonders about this departure and the economic repercussions.
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However, the press also wonders about the future life of the couple. "The announcement of the Duke and Duchess raises difficult questions". And the Times adds that it is legitimate to question the role of the couple, both public and private.
" Butter and butter money "
Their financial independence is seen as hypocritical. The royal endowment, which Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, intend to give up, represents only 5% of their official expenses, the rest being financed by the private income of Prince Charles.
The couple says they want to continue living, when they are in the United Kingdom, at the Frogmore cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle (west London), renovated to the tune of 2.4 million pounds at taxpayer expense, and to benefit from state support for their security. Without ever mentioning a waiver of their titles.
"They really want their cake and eat it too," said Graham Smith, head of the "Republicans", the British anti-monarchy movement.