Royals 'shocked' by statement

2020-01-10 10:28:44China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Palace 'blindsided' by Harry and Meghan's announcement of plans to 'step back'

Fellow members of Britain's royal family are understood to have been shocked and hurt by the announcement that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, will step back from official duties.

The BBC says it believes the duke and duchess of Sussex did not consult other senior royals before making their statement, something Jonny Dymond, the broadcaster's royal correspondent, says "blindsided" the queen.

Harry is the second son of Prince Charles, the queen's oldest child and heir to the throne. He is sixth in line to the throne, behind Charles, Prince William, and William's three children. Many royal watchers hoped the couple would bring a breath of fresh air to the royal family but it now looks as if they are eager to leave.

The palace issued a statement, saying "complicated issues" must be worked out before the couple can start living lives split between the United Kingdom and Canada, where they spent the Christmas holidays.

Harry and Meghan said they made the decision "after many months of reflection and internal discussions" and insisted they want to "become financially independent".

"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," they said.

British newspapers have focused heavily on the story, with the tabloid Sun describing it as "Megxit", a play on the Brexit process that will take the UK out of the European Union. The paper says Charles and William were "incandescent with rage" when told.

The announcement follows a similar decision by Prince Andrew, a son of the queen, after he was criticized for ties to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The loss of senior royals offers ammunition to critics of the royal family, who question its value to the taxpayer.

Royal history professor, Kate Williams, from the University of Reading, says Harry, who the Express newspaper says is worth 30 million pounds ($39 million), and Meghan will not struggle for cash.

"Harry and Meghan are global celebrities," she said. "Meghan was already famous (as a television actor), as was Harry, who will become even more significant when his father, and, later, his brother, becomes king."

They are in the process of launching their own charity, having recently split from a foundation headed by William, something that prompted musings about a royal rift, speculation that will now intensify.


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top Links | About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2020 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.