“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,” the pair said in a statement posted to Instagram.
They went on, “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.”
In other words, yes, Harry and Meghan are pretty much quitting being royals, and their departure raises several questions.
- Where will the ex-royal couple live? (Meghan is from Los Angeles, but she spent years living in Canada while filming the TV show “Suits,” back when she was still Meghan Markle.)
- Will Harry finally start using a last name? (The couple’s son, Archie, was given the last name of “Mountbatten-Windsor,” a combination of two names connected to his paternal grandparents.)
- Will Harry, who served in the U.K. military, get a real 9-to-5?
- And how, exactly, do you carve out a “progressive new role” in a centuries-old institution that gives a few individuals massive wealth, fame, and a fanaticism for manners because their ancestors were good at conquering castles and marrying their own distant relatives?
Buckingham Palace, at least, doesn’t seem to have the answers to any of those questions. In a statement released shortly after Harry and Meghan went public, the Palace said that “discussions” about the pair’s future are “at an early stage.”
“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” the Palace said.
But according to BBC royal correspondent Johnny Dymond, the discussions weren’t “at an early stage” — they were essentially nonexistent.
“BBC understands that no other member of the Royal Family was consulted before Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement tonight, the Palace is understood to be ‘disappointed,’” he wrote.
Regardless of how the split went down, it was a long time coming. Harry and Meghan have spent months feuding with — and even suing — British tabloids. Back in October, Harry even blasted what he called “select media” in an unprecedented open letter, where he wrote, “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”