Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Announced They Were “Stepping Back” From Royal Life, Sending Twitter Into An Uproar
In a bombshell announcement, Duke and Duchess of Sussex–more affectionately known to the public as Harry and Meghan–released a statement on Wednesday revealing that they would be “stepping back” from their official duties as senior members of the British royal family.
The announcement came after months of speculations as to how the famous couple would respond to the maelstrom of negative press the duo–and especially Meghan–have been facing from the British tabloids.
The Sussexes revealed that they would be “balancing” their time between the UK and North America, and that they are doing so to “provide their family with the space to focus on the next chapter”.
“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 Sussexes said via multiple social media channels. “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”.
And while the abrupt announcement was surprising for everyone, the move also comes after Harry and Meghan have long hinted at their discontent with their roles in the spotlight.
The dissatisfaction seemed to reach a fever-pitch around the time that the couple appeared in the ITV documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey”. Both Harry and Meghan were candid about their struggle to endure the British media spotlight, with Harry saying, “…Every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back [to my mother’s death]”.
As for Queen Elizabeth, the monarch released a statement saying that the discussions with the Sussexes are still in an “early stage” and the issue is “complicated”.
Since then, multiple outlets have reported that the entirety of Buckingham palace was “caught off guard” by the Sussexes’ decision. The British media is reporting that the Sussexes did not consult with Buckingham palace before either making the decision or announcing it. Sources close to the royal family say that while the queen is “sad”, Prince Charles (who is next in line to inherit the throne), is “furious”.
“There is fury over how they’ve done this without any thought for the implications for the institution,” a source recently told Page Six. “The Queen is deeply upset. The Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge are incandescent with rage.”
As for England’s reaction to the shocking news, the public opinion seems to be firmly divided into camps both “pro” and “against” “Megxit”.
While one Londoner expressed her support for Meghan and Harry to NBC News, saying she “can’t really blame them” for their decision to leave, another expressed their disappointment. “It’s like, ‘We’ve now given you a ton of money, what do we get in return?,'” said a student named Frederick Bathurst, adding that his mother found their decision “disgraceful”.
And while the Sussexes’ decision to step down from royal duties is surprising, it is not unprecedented. As any devotee of royalist media like “The King’s Speech” and “The Crown” will tell you, a similar situation to this has happened before, when King Edward abdicated the throne in 1936 in order to live in peace with his American girlfriend, Wallis Simpson. And while that situation worked out in the end, the aftermath was difficult to deal with for the Royal family.
Within minutes of the Sussexes’ announcement, both Harry and Meghan’s names were trending on Twitter.
Although Americans like to pretend they’re above being invested in the British Royal Family, their reactions to “Megxit” told a completely different story. The hilarious Tweets and reaction memes were enough to keep us entertained for hours.
Here is actual footage of the Royal Family reading Meghan & Harry’s statement
While Harry and Meghan are hoping that this decision will protect them from the media, something tells us that the media scrutiny is going to be stronger than ever.
Of course, there was tons of speculation as to what Harry’s mother would think if she were still alive:
We wonder if lingering trauma over Diana’s death had anything to do with this decision.
This person imagined what #Megxit would be like as a Reddit post:
This couldn’t be more accurate.
There were also tons of takes on the Sussexes desire to become “financially independent” from the Royal family:
If there’s one thing for sure, Prince Harry has a very particular set of skills that might not be useful to everyone.