The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Speak Out

Entertainment |

The latest statement from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gives us a peek behind the palace doors and hints at some of the reasons behind their exit from the British Royal Family.


In January the world was shocked when the couple announced that they were stepping back as senior royals and looking to negotiate a “progressive new role”. What soon emerged was evidence of a division between the other royals and Harry and Meghan. 

It became clear that all of the statements and plans that they had published on their website had not yet gained royal approval and Buckingham Palace was quick to respond. 

The move by the couple promoted a flurry of activity at the Palace with senior royals and courtiers being summoned to help with the negotiations over their future roles.

Despite having achieved their aims the couple is now exposing exactly what was going on behind the scenes. 

Divisions are clear; the couple will no longer use 'royal' as part of their branding and this was announced on their website. It was clear from the tone that this had caused a certain amount of irritation.

The Press Was a Fundamental Reason To Exit

The couple recently posted an update entitled "Spring 2020 Transition Details," and the tone was completely different from the press releases issued by Buckingham Palace.


In it, Harry and Meghan speak out about their inability to release information sooner and the statement makes it clear that they did not feel in control of the timing of press releases and other information. 

It seems that they had wanted to get the information out more quickly than the palace was happy within an attempt to cut across any potential misreporting in the press.

By leaving the Royal Family, Harry and Meghan have been clear that he has taken away any media justification that it was in the public interest to intrude into their lives. 

The underlying message is that the press was a fundamental reason why the couple had decided to step back from official royal life.

The Duke and Duchess reiterated that they had wished to stop drawing any public funding but continue to support the Queen, however, this was not seen as a practical way forward. 

That said, this type of half-in, half-out solution has been approved for other members of the royal family who have been able to seek employment in other areas. The agreement is subject to review in 12 months but the couple seems to suggest that they have been treated less favorably than others.

They Lived Happily Ever After 

Harry and Meghan have spoken of their sadness at having to let their staff go but acknowledge that this is a direct result of their decision.


In the statement, they say that they had shared the news with their staff 'once they knew of the decision'. It is unclear, therefore, how much of this was done by choice.

The last part of the statement looks at how they will work in the future and their use of ‘royal’ as part of their branding. Once the HRH prefixes were removed it was hard to see how the couple could continue to use “Sussex Royal” and indeed this option has now been removed. 

Although some commentators look at this as the final blow in a long list of losses, others look at it as an opportunity for the couple to achieve their freedom.

After a raft of media reports that they had intended to sell merchandise with the Sussex Royal branding, the couple confirmed that the decision to stop using the name was the result of trademark applications. 

However, the couple was quick to point out that while they have no intention of using the term ‘Royal’ from now on neither the Monarchy nor the British Government can control its use overseas.

The couple's official website has changed dramatically. The latest version points people at their latest transition statement with other sections including Media & funding, Serving the Monarchy, Strengthening the Commonwealth and Supporting Community.

The couple has also included a quote that flashes up when you load the site: “The goal is to focus on what connects us, rather than what divides us.”

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Barbara Norris

From the time I was a kid the two things I loved doing the most were traveling and writing. So for me writing about the world is a dream come true, so why not share it with the world?