In a statement posted to Instagram the couple revealed that they reached this conclusion on Wednesday, January 8, after “many months of reflection and internal discussions.” Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, said they will “continue to collaborate Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties” during this “transition” period.“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,” the statement read. “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.”The duo, who wed in May 2018, stated that this change will allow them to “raise our son [Archie] 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.” In the wake of Harry and Meghan’s statement, Buckingham Palace issued a response to the pair’s announcement. The palace, which is headed by Queen Elizabeth II, said that “discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage.” It also regarded the transition and relocation as “complicated issues that will take time to work through.”Harry and Meghan have been slowly separating themselves from the royal family beginning with their six-week hiatus from royal duties in November 2019. They were absent from this year’s annual Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday traditions, choosing to spend that time separately with their 8-month-old son, Archie, and the Suits alum’s mother, Doria Ragland.
Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, spoke exclusively to Us Weekly about his daughter and son-in-law’s choice. “I’ll just simply say I’m disappointed,” the 74-year-old said on Wednesday.In stepping back from their senior positions, Harry and Meghan will employ new protocols this year. “In 2020 Harry and Meghan will be changing how they work with the media, to ensure diverse and open access to their work,” Omid Scobie, royal editor for Harper’s Bazaar, tweeted on Wednesday. Among those changes include, engaging “with grassroots media organisations” and to “no longer participate in the Royal Rota system.”Scroll down below to see how the stars are reacting to Harry and Meghan’s next phase!
Lisa Vanderpump "I think it’s a shame. I think they were great for the royal family," the Bravo personality told Us Weekly exclusively on the set of Hallmark's Home & Family on January 14. "I think [Meghan] is great, she’s progressive, she’s a feminist … We don't know what goes on behind closed doors, especially palace doors. I just think it's a shame. I think they could have done [a lot] with the support. Prince Harry is a very popular royal, as well. He had that kind of joie de vivre, which kind of made him very relatable."
Hugh Grant "I'm rather on Harry's side, I have to say," the Four Weddings and a Funeral actor explained during a January 13 interview on SiriusXM’s “Radio Andy” with Andy Cohen. "The tabloid press effectively murdered his mother [Princess Diana], now they're tearing his wife to pieces. I think, as a man, it's his job to protect his family. So I'm with him."
Bethenny Frankel The former reality TV star is not a fan of Harry and Meghan’s decision. Frankel took to Twitter on January 10 to share her thoughts. “Do you boo but taking the ride is another thing. The history about Diana & the gig & public scrutiny existed before wedding day,” the Real Housewives of New York City alum wrote. “I guess cake was made to be had & to be eaten. William & Kate have navigated it all very well in my opinion.”
Jessica Mulroney The duchess’ best friend shared a quote attributed to filmmaker Gina Carey, which appeared to be a response to the couple’s news. “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink,” the stylist’s January 8 post read.
Nicole Lopez-Alvar On January 8, the Bachelor alum wrote via Twitter that she “cannot wait to follow Meghan Markle on Instagram.”
Amy Schumer The comedian joked about Harry and Meghan’s announcement by sharing a photo of her husband, Chris Fischer, pushing her in a beach wheelchair. “Chris and I are formally stepping down from our royal duties,” she wrote via Instagram on January 8. “We appreciate your support.”
Stephen Colbert During a January 8 episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the host reacted to the news by sharing his confusion with the royals “senior” positions. “Do you have any idea what that means? Because I have no idea what that means,” he said. “They have senior levels of royal?”
Seth Meyers On January 8, the host joked about the couple’s departure on Late Night With Seth Meyers, saying: “Or as it was reported in British tabloids, ‘Meghan Kidnaps Harry.’” The Saturday Night Live alum also zeroed in on the portion of the pair’s statement that claimed they’d “become financially independent,” adding: “While William and Kate announced they sold the Queen and they’re going to Cabo!”
Trevor Noah Noah addressed the matter on The Daily Show on January 8. “This is what happens when you bring the first black woman into the Royal Family,” he began. “She looked at Harry and was like, ‘F--k, you need to get a job! You’re a grown ass man you can’t still be living in your momma’s house, Harry!'”
Jameela Jamil The Good Place actress tweeted her support for the pair on January 8, writing: “And that folks, is what power looks like. :crown:”
Piers Morgan The British journalist and TV personality was less than impressed by the couple’s decision. “Wow. What a disgraceful way to treat The Queen,” he tweeted on January 8. “Shame on Harry & Meghan.”
Ava DuVernay The filmmaker responded to entertainment correspondent Chris Witherspoon’s tweet about the matter on January 8. The TV personality asked producers of Netflix’s The Crown to “skip ahead a few decades” to have a Harry and Meghan-focused storyline, to which DuVernay tweeted a GIF of Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games volunteering as tribute. “If they need a director…,” she captioned the image.
Andy Cohen The Bravo personality offered Meghan a spot on the Real Housewives franchise on January 8, commenting beneath the couple’s Instagram post: “Open invite for the Duchess to join #RHOBH !!!!”
Mindy Kaling The Mindy Project alum simply commented “✨✨✨✨✨” beneath the duo’s announcement post on January 8.
Cameran Eubanks The Southern Charm star shared her love for the couple’s decision. “‘This above all, to thine own self be true’ I admire you both,” she wrote on January 8.