Royal Exit

January 24, 2020
THE NEXT STEP Meghan Markle and Prince Harry greet reporters in London, England, on January 7.
CHRIS JACKSON—GETTY IMAGES

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made an announcement on January 8. The duke and duchess of Sussex said they would “step back as ‘senior’ members” of the royal family. The message appeared on their Instagram page.

The two say they want to lead lives separate from the royal family. They plan to support themselves financially. They will split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.

No member of the royal family has ever “stepped back” in this way. A royal’s job is to support charities and do other work that benefits the public.

Harry and Meghan said they will “honor our duty” to Britain. But they plan to focus on their own charity. They also want privacy as they raise their son, Archie. They say British newspapers have printed unfair stories about them.

On January 13, Queen Elizabeth issued a statement. The royal family is “supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life,” she said. “We respect and understand their wish.”

Stop and Think! Why does the press report on public figures, such as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? What might lead a public figure to say that a story is unfair?