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Duke and Duchess of Sussex step down from duties in British royal family

 After months of hinting at struggling to adapt to life in the spotlight, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to step down from royal duties. 

After months of hinting at struggling to adapt to life in the spotlight, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced on Wednesday January8th that they will be taking a step back from their royal duties. The couple will split their time between the UK and Canada in order to live a more private life and focus more on the matters that mean the most to them.  

Over the past few weeks alleged details as to the nature of the big move have circled in the media. Many have shown support for Meghan after the actress best known for her role as Rachel Zane in Suits was forced to give up her career for royal duties. She has openly admitted to struggling to adapt to the English culture whilst being under such an intense spotlight. The Duchess has further suffered continual racist abuse in the media. However, the couple have faced great backlash over the shock effect their announcement has had; it was thought they gave royal aides no more than a ten-minute warning before issuing their announcement to step down on social media. The Queen issued an initial statement announcing that she was “disappointed” at the lack of forewarning the royal family had and a meeting within the week was dubbed an emergency “Sandringham summit”. Royal courtiers were demanded to find solutions with great haste and key royal family members gathered.  

However, the Queen spoke positively after the summit of how “pleased” she was “that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family”. She emphasised that “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family”. The Queen has agreed to a “period of transition” and details of the change have emerged. The agreement included a promise to repay £2.4million of taxpayer’s money for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, no more public funds for royal duties and the couple will drop their royal and HRH titles.  

Keen royalists are likely to be disappointed in Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down, whilst others are likely to support Harry’s long-term desire to escape media attention. Their determination to become financially independent is admirable and will surely sway those who dislike the taxpayer’s funding of the royal family. After many months and recent daily attention in the media, Canada will hopefully provide the young family with the privacy they have wanted for so long.  

About Jo Hawkins

j.s.hawkins@student.reading.ac.uk'

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