AceShowbiz - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex are making the unprecedented move to "step back" from their roles as senior members of Britain's royal family and become "financially independent."
The couple, which broke away from royal tradition to spend the festive season in Canada, announced the shock news on Wednesday, January 8, 2020.
"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," reads a statement posted on Instagram.
"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."
The Duke and Duchess, who are parents to baby boy Archie, go on to reveal they will also be splitting their time between the U.K. and North America, which former actress Meghan had called home before marrying Prince Harry in 2018.
"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 post continues.
"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."
Harry, the son of Queen Elizabeth II's heir Prince Charles and his late ex-wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, is sixth in line to the throne.