On January 8, 2020, Harry and Meghan announced to the world that they will be stepping back from their positions as senior members of the Royal Family. This HUGE break of protocol was done via Instagram, and without the knowledge of anyone in the royal family, including the Queen herself!
Meghan was making a lot of money as an actress before she married Harry. He was said to earn around $45,000 a year, where she was making more than that for one episode of Suits! However, Harry’s net worth stands at $40 million, which is much more than Meghan is worth.
Meghan and Harry were a part of this massive fortune that the British Royal Family had until they decided to do their own version of Brexit. Fortune reported that from 2016 to 2017, the palace spent around $9 million on Princes William, Harry, and Duchess Kate.
In 2018, Meghan spent over $500,000 on clothes, which didn’t include her designer wedding gown. Kate was said to have spent $85,000 on clothes in 2018. Somehow both of those figures blow out mind.
Essentially, it means that the couple will be financially independent and not rely on palace funds to cover their expenses and give them salaries. As Royals, they weren’t allowed to make any money, so now they’re free to do so.
They will also not live in England most of the year anymore, and not go to as many functions and events as part of the Royal Family.
The saying goes that there always needs to be “an heir and a spare.” Harry is the spare in this scenario and continues to be lower in line as William has more kids, but Harry will still keep his place in the line despite his announcement.
He is now sixth in line to the throne of England, as Charles is first, then comes William, George, Charlotte, and Louis before Harry. He is probably very pleased with this statistic.
Philanthropy has always been big for Harry and was what brought them two even closer when they first met. The couple applied for a trademark on their Sussex Royal brand in June 2019 and got it in December 2019.
That was the same month that they broke off from the foundation they were working together on with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Harry and Meghan said in their statement that they will be living part of the time abroad and the rest in the United Kingdom. While they are in the UK, they will live in their cottage that they got remodeled for a cool $3.3 million thanks to the tax payers of the nation.
Before you get all upset for the tax payers, Harry and Meghan will be repaying the renovation costs and pay rent while they stay at the cottage. Now, we feel better.
The Royals have alway had strict rules about speaking to the media. They always have interviews that are scheduled and by the book. Harry and Meghan plan to change that.
They are going to be changing their approach, saying they are going to “engage with grassroots media organizations and young, up-and-coming journalists.” They explained that “the current system predates the dramatic transformation of news reporting in the digital age.”
This statement was made by Harry at a charity even after he made it public that he plans on stepping back. He was emotional as he was speaking and revealed just how hard this choice was for him.
“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” Harry said. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.” He continued, “Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”
Harry won’t be Prince Harry anymore, he will just be plain ol’ Harry. Both Harry and Meghan will also not be their Royal Highnesses anymore, but rather Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
While he isn’t called Prince Harry anymore, he’s still technically a prince and sixth in line to the British throne.
The Queen held a private meeting with the other members of the Royal Family on January 13, 2020 to talk about Harry and Meghan’s announcement and how to handle everything moving forward. She said…
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
No surprise here, but the couple got major flack for their announcement. They broke years of tradition with their decision and did so without telling anymore. Not cool, guys. The public was stunned and upset.
A royal historian and author, Hugo Vickers, said, “They think they can do all sorts of things together but the fact is that they’re very likely, if they’re not careful, to end up as slightly tarnished celebrities, perhaps.” Burn.
When they came out with their announcement, it blindsided everyone. It was said that they were planning this for many months at that point and were having private discussions without the rest of the family.
While they did state in their announcement that they “fully support Her Majesty the Queen,” they did undermine her first so we’re not sure how that looks.
In a dramatic move, the couple’s wax figures were removed from Madame Tussauds museum immediately upon hearing the statement. The museum said, “Alongside the rest of the world we are reacting to the surprising news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be stepping back as senior Royals.”
Their figures cost around $195,000 each to make and will be moved to stand in the same hall as the others but not next to them. Reflect on that, Sussexes.
Princess Diana was a huge humanitarian at heart. Harry has always wanted to keep her work alive. While he may be stepping back from duties, he is not stepping away from his mother’s legacy.
Both Harry and Meghan will continue to carry out her work in Africa. The public actually thought that that is where he and Meghan would move to, but it ended up being Canada.
What does that mean exactly? The world has yet to see. But for those who were close to Harry, they are not surprised that he is taking this drastic step. In an interview that Harry did on the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death, he said..
“I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself.” Which is basically what he is trying to do now.
The heir and the spare situation again. Harry can basically do whatever he wants, whereas William is second in line to the throne and has responsibilities that he can’t shake.
Sir David Manning, who was the former British Ambassador to the US said, “Prince Harry’s destiny is much more open to discussion and much more open for him to decide. And so I think, although [they’re] very close and in many ways passionate about the same things… Harry’s got a field of maneuver that’s much broader.”
Senior royals or not, they are still part of the Royal Family and need protection. The couple, along with their sweet baby boy, Archie, are considered “internationally protected people,” and so they are protected at all times.
Meghan has been spoken ill of by the media and public as much as Princess Diana had been years ago. When she was asked about the press, Meghan said, “It’s hard. I never thought this would be easy but I thought it would be fair.”
Due to the fact that the paparazzi had such a hand in his mother’s death, Harry has a harsh view of the media. He has been open about his issue with them, and has said as much in an interview.
“Every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash– it takes me back,” he said. “It’s the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best.” He continues, “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
The couple really believes in the freedom of speech in the press. They support the “free, strong, and open media.” Now that they aren’t senior royals, they can use social media as their power tool; their announcement being the beginning of that.
They said that they will “personally share moments in their lives directly with members of the public.” They plan to do so on their Instagram account, which has over 10 million followers.
Meghan’s mom lives in Los Angeles (we won’t mention her other family since they don’t do anything other than bash her), but the couple will reside in Canada part of the time! Meghan lived in Toronto when she was filming Suits, which was for over six years.
The couple spent Christmas there for six weeks and said that it was “unbelievable.” Their Instagram will be the one to tell us where they settle down.