UPDATE: This article was updated on Jan. 13, 2020, 12:48 EST (see end of article)
Prince Harry and Meghan have decided to “step back as ‘senior members’ of the Royal Family.”
The couple, known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, made the announcement on their website and on Instagram last week.
They also said they will “work to become financially independent.” In this case, that means earning their own money rather than being paid through Britain’s royal family. As “royals,” Harry and Meghan support various charities such as the Invictus Games.
They will also be starting a new foundation for charitable work, which will be called Sussex Royal, and is planned to launch later this year.
According to the announcement, they will live part-time in the United Kingdom (UK) and part of the time in North America. There is speculation that they will buy a home in Canada.
Before she married Prince Harry, Meghan (then Markle and now Duchess of Sussex) worked as an actress. She lived in Toronto, Ontario for years while working on the TV drama “Suits.”
Meghan and Harry were married in 2018. Their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, was born last May.
Since their marriage, the couple have expressed their concerns about coverage by the media that they consider intrusive and in some instances, racist. (Meghan is biracial; her father is Caucasian and her mother is African American.)
Coverage by the media is a particularly challenging issue for the couple. In 1997, Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was killed in a tragic car crash while she was trying to evade photographers.
Harry is sixth in line to the throne. That means that if the Queen of England stepped down as the monarch of England and the Commonwealth (including Canada), he would be sixth in line to have that responsibility.
Details of Harry and Meghan’s plans have not yet been made public, but the Queen and the rest of the royal family have indicated that they will hold a family meeting to discuss it.
UPDATE: On Jan. 13, the Queen issued a statement saying that
THINK AND DISCUSS
Harry and Meghan want to change the way they are covered by the media. Read this statement on their website: https://sussexroyal.com/media/ How do they want to change their relationship with the media? Why?
Here is a link to information about some of the charities Harry and Meghan support: https://www.royal.uk/The-Duke-of-Sussex (Note: there is some information on the site about challenges the charities are tackling, which could be disturbing for some people.) Which of the charities they work with do you find most interesting, and why? What could you do to support these or other charities (other than financially)?
Prince Harry said he wants to step back as a senior member of the royal family. His grandmother is Queen Elizabeth, the Queen of England. What do you think her reaction to this announcement was? UPDATE: This statement was issued by the Queen (after this TKN article was published). Did you guess that this would be her reaction? https://www.royal.uk/statement-her-majesty-queen
Do you care about the royal family and the things they do? Why or why not? (Whatever side you take, also think about the argument on the other side and try to list one or two points from that point of view.)
This article mentions that Harry is sixth in line to the throne. What does that mean? Who are the five people ahead of him?
CBC News article about a meeting the royal family plans to hold, to discuss Harry and Meghan’s plans as well as a statement issued by Harry and his brother, William: https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/queen-to-host-crisis-summit-on-prince-harry-and-meghan-s-future-1.5424586
Invictus Games website: https://invictusgamesfoundation.org/
In this 2015 article for ELLE Magazine, Meghan Markle writes about her background: https://www.elle.com/uk/life-and-culture/news/a26855/more-than-an-other/
Article by BBC News comparing the media’s treatment of Meghan and Princess Diana: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49905596
Statement, in 2019, by Harry and Meghan about their treatment by the media and their plans to sue news organization The Mail on Sunday: https://sussexofficial.uk/
Statement by the Queen regarding Harry and Meghan, Jan. 13, 2020: https://www.royal.uk/statement-her-majesty-queen