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Every single question we have after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's announcement, answered.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement that they are stepping back from being “senior” members of the Royal Family has left the world spinning, particularly as it seems the rest of the family weren’t told about their decision to be financially independent.

Huh? What? Where? Why? We know, it’s a lot. You can read about all of that here.

Social media is ablaze, with most commentators not exactly surprised by the revelation.

After all, Meghan in particular, has been dragged through the British tabloids since the couple’s wedding in mid 2018, and Prince Harry has been fierce in his defence of her.

Now, it looks like the young family have had enough.

“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,” their statement read.

“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.

Karl Stefanovic reacts to the announcement. Post continues after video.

Video by Nine
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“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.

“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”

 

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“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. 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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

Here’s every single question we’ve got about this bold move, answered.

Has this ever happened before?

Kind of.

The Queen’s uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated from the throne in 1936 so he could marry twice-divorced American Wallis Simpson. However, they both still had titles, becoming the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. They also held royal roles before they retired, however Wallis was never given the address ‘Your Royal Highness.’

That’s the closest we have ever come to a move like this.

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Will Meghan and Harry have to give up their titles, the ‘Duke and Duchess of Sussex’?

No they won’t.

As royal expert Marlene Koenig explained to Mamamia’s news podcast The Quicky, “the title was bestowed to Harry by the Queen, on his wedding day. It’s his title for the rest of his life and for his male heirs. He could get the Queen to remove it, but that’s very unlikely.”

You can listen to that podcast in full below. Post continues after podcast.

Why do they want to be financially independent?

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex take great pride in their work and are committed to continuing their charitable endeavours as well as establishing new ones,” a statement on their official website reads.

“In addition, they value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing. For this reason, they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence.

“Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally.”

How will Meghan and Harry earn money now?

Prior to this announcement, Harry was being given AUD $9.54 million annually from The Queen, which was taken from the $156 million publicly-funded Sovereign Grant, as well as $6 million in “non-official expenditure” and $1.9 million in staffing costs.

It represents five per cent of their operating costs, and the couple will no longer get this funding under their new arrangements.

what the crown got wrong
Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer accept money from the Queen. Image: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The other 95 per cent of their living comes from The Duchy of Cornwall, aka Harry's father, Prince Charles. It is understood they will still have access to this funding.

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In terms of what money the couple have themselves, Prince Harry has his half of the inheritance from his mother Princess Diana's passing.

"He maybe has 20, 30 million pounds (which is AUD $60 million), and perhaps other investments as well," Marlene Koenig told The Quicky.

Meghan, of course, was previously a very successful actress and was wealthy in her own right.

She earned $76,000 per episode for Suits, was in several big-buck movies, and also earned $114,000 annually from her lifestyle website The Tig.

News.com.au suggests she is worth an estimated $7.6 million.

In other words, they're going to be just fine.

Where will Meghan and Harry live now?

The family plan to split their time between America and England, so they will, of course, still need somewhere to stay.

Their website states that they have no plans to give up their residence at Frogmore Cottage.

General Views Of Frogmore Cottage
Harry and Meghan will still use Frogmore Cottage. Image: GOR/Getty Images.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage - with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen - as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom," their website reads.

What does this change mean for Archie?

In their statement, Harry and Meghan hope that the geographical balance between England and America will enable them to raise their son with an "appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter."

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They've made no secret of the fact they want to provide their son with a "normal life." Prince Harry knows all too well how hard growing up in the spotlight is, and has made no secret of his resentment of that fact.

While in the UK, Frogmore provides them with a secure place to shelter their son from prying eyes, as royal expert Katie Nicholl explained to Entertainment Tonight.

MEGHAN-HARRY-and-ARCHIE
Here's one of the most recent pictures we have of baby Archie, from the Sussex Christmas card. Image: Sussexroyal.

"My understanding is that at Frogmore, they have essentially built a fortress. One of their closest friends told me it was their oasis - their sanctuary where they're going to raise their child away from the spotlight," she explained.

"Archie is being raised in a very loving, relatively ordinary upbringing as far as royal childhoods are concerned," she continued.

"It was a very deliberate decision not to give Archie the HRH title. He is of course technically a prince, but they chose not to make him His Royal Highness and that is quite simply because they want him to be raised as a private citizen."

Does this change mean the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be able to escape the press?

That certainly appears to be part of the plan.

Their website notes some "changes" to their media policies as of the new year, stating, "in the spring of 2020, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be adopting a revised media approach to ensure diverse and open access to their work.

"This updated approach aims to engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists; invite specialist media to specific events/engagements to give greater access to their cause-driven activities, widening the spectrum of news coverage; provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events."

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Meghan and Harry will also "continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communications channels" and will "no longer participate in the Royal Rota system."

To explain, the "Royal Rata system" is a way of giving UK print and broadcast media exclusive access to official engagements of the Royal Family. From there, the world's media report on what they've been given access to. Those in the system include British publications like the Daily Mail, Daily Express, The Evening Standard and The Sun.

But according to Harry and Meghan's website, this system predates the "dramatic transformation of news reporting in the digital age".

It appears their hope is, that by being able to talk to and engage in the media as and when they want to, they can help to drive the narrative around them a bit better.

How does the Queen feel about all of this?

Well, apparently she didn't know.

The BBC reports that Meghan and Harry announced their decision without talking to anyone from the Royal Family, the Queen included.

A statement from the Royal Family appears to back this up, reading, “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

Feature image: Getty. 

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