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Harry and Meghan formally quit royal life

By AFP

Added 31st March 2020 05:11 PM

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family Tuesday.

Harry and Meghan formally quit royal life

In this file photo taken on March 05, 2020, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London. - Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex have left Canada to set up home in California, according to reports. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family Tuesday.

ROYAL COUPLE MEGXIT PRINCE HARRY MEGHAN 

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on Tuesday, as they start a controversial new life in the United States.

The couple have already relocated to California, according to reports, after announcing in January that they intended to quit royal life and "work to become financially independent".

The decision means they will no longer carry out duties on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II and are giving up their office within the monarchy in Britain.

 n this file photo taken on anuary 10 2020 oyal memorabilia featuring ritains rince arry uke of ussex and eghan uchess of ussex is displayed for sale in a store near uckingham alace in ondon on anuary 10 2020  rince arry and his wife eghan formally step down as senior members of the ritish royal family on arch 31 2020 as they start a controversial new life in the nited tates In this file photo taken on January 10, 2020 Royal memorabilia featuring Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is displayed for sale in a store near Buckingham Palace in London on January 10, 2020. - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on March 31, 2020, as they start a controversial new life in the United States.

 

It follows reports Meghan was deeply unhappy with life inside the centuries-old institution and increasing complaints from the couple about media intrusion.

Their shock announcement rocked the royal family, appearing to blindside the queen and other senior family members.

It led the 93-year-old monarch to call an emergency summit with her eldest son and heir Prince Charles, and his two sons Princes William and Harry, to thrash out the terms of their departure.

 n this file photo taken on une 08 2019  ritains rince illiam uke of ambridge holding rince ouis rince eorge rincess harlotte ritains atherine uchess of ambridge ritains amilla uchess of ornwall ice dmiral imothy aurence ritains rince harles rince of ales ritains rincess eatrice of ork ritains rincess nne rincess oyal ritains ueen lizabeth  ritains rincess ugenie of ork ritains ady ouise indsor ritains rince ndrew uke of ork ritains rince arry uke of ussex ritains eghan uchess of ussex ames iscount evern and sla hillips stand with other members of the oyal amily on the balcony of uckingham alace to watch a flypast of aircraft by the oyal ir orce in ondon on une 8 2019  rince arry and his wife eghan formally step down as senior members of the ritish royal family on arch 31 2020 as they start a controversial new life in the nited tates hoto by aniel   In this file photo taken on June 08, 2019 (L-R) Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge holding Prince Louis, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Britain's Princess Beatrice of York, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal,, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's Princess Eugenie of York, Britain's Lady Louise Windsor, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York,, Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex,, Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, James, Viscount Severn and Isla Phillips stand with other members of the Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to watch a fly-past of aircraft by the Royal Air Force, in London on June 8, 2019. - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on March 31, 2020, as they start a controversial new life in the United States. (Photo by Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP)

 

The family eventually agreed the couple, who have an 11-month-old son Archie, will relinquish their His or Her Royal Highness titles, and no longer use the "Sussex Royal" label.

They currently use the name for their popular Instagram account and website, and had also made dozens of trademark applications with it for various products.

However, they will continue to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their official titles, and Harry remains sixth in line to the throne, with no change in the line of succession.

 

  n this file photo taken on arch 09 2020 ritains rince illiam uke of ambridge  ritains rince harles rince of ales 2nd  ritains rince arry uke of ussex 3rd  ritains amilla uchess of ornwall 3rd  ritains atherine uchess of ambridge 2nd  and ritains eghan uchess of ussex  depart estminster bbey after attending the annual ommonwealth ervice in ondon on arch 9 2020  rince harles the eldest son and heir to ueen lizabeth  is showing mild symptoms of the new coronavirus but otherwise remains in good health his office said on arch 25  he 71yearold is selfisolating in cotland along with his wife amilla who was also tested but does not have 19 larence ouse said hoto by hil arris    In this file photo taken on March 09, 2020 Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd L), Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (3rd L), Britain's Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (3rd R), Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd R) and Britain's Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) depart Westminster Abbey after attending the annual Commonwealth Service in London on March 9, 2020. - Prince Charles, the eldest son and heir to Queen Elizabeth II, is showing mild symptoms of the new coronavirus but "otherwise remains in good health", his office said on March 25. The 71-year-old is self-isolating in Scotland along with his wife Camilla, who was also tested but does not have COVID-19, Clarence House said. (Photo by Phil Harris / POOL / AFP)

 

- Dream soured -

 

Harry and Meghan's departure dubbed "Megxit" by the British press is a far cry from 2018, when they married in a fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle watched around the world.

Meghan, 38, a former TV actress who is of mixed race, was seen as a breath of fresh air for the royal family, which is often characterised as stuffy.

But relations with the media soon soured, with some newspapers accused of peddling offensive racial stereotypes and dishing out unfair criticism.

There were also reports of splits within the family, and a growing rift between Harry and William. 

n this file photo taken on arch 05 2020 ritains rince arry  uke of ussex and eghan uchess of ussex arrive to attend the ndeavour und wards at ansion ouse in ondon on arch 5 2020  rince arry and his wife eghan formally step down as senior members of the ritish royal family on arch 31 2020 as they start a controversial new life in the nited tates hoto by    In this file photo taken on March 05, 2020 Britain's Prince Harry (L), Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on March 5, 2020. - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on March 31, 2020, as they start a controversial new life in the United States. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP)

 

Since revealing their plans, the couple had been living in a luxury mansion on Canada's Pacific west coast, visiting Britain only briefly this month.

But the pair are said to have relocated to California by private jet earlier this month before the United States closed its northern border because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Meghan grew up in Los Angeles and her mother, Doria Ragland, still lives there. She also has a network of friends and work contacts in the city.

 Meghan and mother Doria Ragland. File Photo

What they do next though is unclear.

"My feeling is that they have become very irrelevant in the grand scheme of what's going on in the world," royal biographer Penny Junor told AFP.

Junor said it was now a particularly uncertain time for Harry, "a very special member of the royal family".

"In America they are nobodies. They are celebrities and celebrities are two a penny," she added.

However, Junor said the couple had left "the door ajar" to return to the royal fold if the American odyssey does not work out.

 

 n n this file photo taken on une 14 2018 ritains ueen lizabeth  and eghan uchess of ussex gesture during their visit to the toryhouse in hester heshire on une 14 2018  rince arry and his wife eghan formally step down as senior members of the ritish royal family on arch 31 2020 as they start a controversial new life in the nited tates hoto by       file photo taken on une 14 2018 ritains ueen lizabeth  and eghan uchess of ussex gesture during their visit to the toryhouse in hester heshire on une 14 2018  rince arry and his wife eghan formally step down as senior members of the ritish royal family on arch 31 2020 as they start a controversial new life in the nited tates hoto by      In In this file photo taken on June 14, 2018 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to the Storyhouse in Chester, Cheshire on June 14, 2018. - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on March 31, 2020, as they start a controversial new life in the United States. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP) file photo taken on June 14, 2018 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to the Storyhouse in Chester, Cheshire on June 14, 2018. - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan formally step down as senior members of the British royal family on March 31, 2020, as they start a controversial new life in the United States. (Photo by PHIL NOBLE / POOL / AFP)

 

- Security bill -

 

The couple's initial announcement to quit Britain divided opinion and their move to California comes after Harry's father was last week diagnosed as having COVID-19.

Prince Charles has now left self-isolation, Clarence House said on Monday.

n this file photo ritains rince arry uke of ussex  and eghan uchess of ussex arrive to attend the annual ommonwealth ervice at estminster bbey in ondon on arch 09 2020  resident onald rump said arch 29 2020 that the nited tates would not pay security costs for rince arry and his wife eghan appearing to confirm that the royal couple have moved to live in aliforniahey reportedly flew by private jet from anada to os ngeles before the border between the two countries closed because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak hoto by olga   In this file photo Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, (L) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend the annual Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 09, 2020. - President Donald Trump said March 29, 2020 that the United States would not pay security costs for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, appearing to confirm that the royal couple have moved to live in California.They reportedly flew by private jet from Canada to Los Angeles before the border between the two countries closed because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP)

 

British royals have been showing solidarity with health workers fighting the outbreak, while the queen released a message saying her family stood ready to play its part in the national effort.

"Harry and Meghan have chosen celebrity over duty," The Times said in an opinion piece on Monday.

Meanwhile, the couple failed to get a warm welcome from US President Donald Trump, whom Harry recently criticised for his stance on climate change when he received a hoax phone call.

Trump said he was "a great friend and admirer of the Queen and the United Kingdom" but insisted US taxpayers would not pick up their security bill.

"They must pay!" he wrote on Twitter on Sunday.

The president's warning prompted a rare public response from the couple's spokeswoman, who said they had "no plans to ask the US government for security resources".

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