Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Step Back as “Senior Royals”

What the hell does that mean?

Royals, they're just like us.
Royals, they're just like us.
Sussex Royal / Instagram
By Lee Cutlip / January 9, 2020 11:19 am

On Wednesday afternoon, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the announcement that they would be stepping back as “senior” members of the royal family. The announcement came via a lengthy post on their shared Instagram account (@sussexroyal) and lists a few reasons behind the decision, namely that they wish to balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America so as 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.”

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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 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. 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

That sounds great and all but…what does it actually mean? Are they still royals? Are they now junior royals? Did they dismantle the monarchy? Luckily, for those of us not well-versed in the lingo of the monarchy, Lisa Ryan of the podcast Royally Obsessed, has broken down the significance of the decision in layman’s terms.

If you’re curious as to whether the couple is still considered royals, the answer is yes (thank god). While they’ll still be considered ‘working royals,’ they’re now able to become financially independent. This leads to the question of how exactly they’re going to make ends meet?

If  you’re lucky enough to find yourself a royal, you receive money through the Sovereign Grant, which essentially funds the monarchy. By stepping back as senior royals, Harry and Meghan are no longer entitled to receive these funds, and must work to support themselves (like the rest of us). The couple have yet to detail how they intend to do so, although they did mention the launch of a new charity. Whatever they decide, we’re sure they’ll be just fine.

The decision follows a tumultuous 2019 for the royal family, marked by rumours of martial tension between Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Andrew’s friendship with the late Jeffrey Epstein, which resulted in him stepping back from royal duties. And then there’s the British media’s consistent attacks on Markle, the strain of which was visible in a recent interview.

While the next steps for the couple remain unclear, and Buckingham Palace insisting the decision is not final, the world waits with bated breath to see how it all unfolds. Who knows, maybe we’ll see them around the States.

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