LONDON, ENGLAND – JUNE 08: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade, on June 08, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The shock announcement took the royal family by surprise
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the annual WellChild Awards in London on October 15, 2019. – WellChild is the national charity for seriously ill children and their families. The WellChild Awards celebrate the inspiring qualities of some of the country’s seriously ill young people and the dedication of those who care for and support them. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE / POOL / AFP) (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Harry Kate Middleton
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R) and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (L) attend a roundtable discussion on gender equality with The Queens Commonwealth Trust (QCT) and One Young World at Windsor Castle in Windsor on October 25, 2019. (Photo by Jeremy Selwyn / POOL / AFP) (Photo by JEREMY SELWYN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the announcement this evening
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London on January 7, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / various sources / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, left, Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, right, arrive to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein)
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Westminster Abbey after attending the National Service to mark the Centenary of the Armistice in London, Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018. Remembrance Sunday is held each year to commemorate the service men and women who fought in past military conflicts. 2018 marks the centenary of the armistice and cessation of hostilities in WWI, which ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, left, and from left, Prince Harry, Meghan the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Andrew attend a ceremonial event before watching a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London, Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Various events were held Tuesday to mark the centenary of the RAF. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
FILE – In this Saturday, June 29, 2019 file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, walk off the field before a baseball game in London. Royal officials say Prince Harry will see the legacy of his late mother Princess Diana’s humanitarian work in Angola during a visit to southern Africa this fall. Buckingham Palace released details Friday, Sept. 6 of the trip by Harry, Meghan and their son Archie, who was born in May. (AP Photo/Tim Ireland, file)
The announcement Saturday that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are to give up their titles and stop receiving public funds is only the latest instalment in a royal soap opera that has gripped Britain and the world.
Love over country
© Thomas D Mcavoy/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images
File – Duke Edward VIII together with Duchess Wallis Simpson of Windsor in Miami, Florida, November 1940 (Photo by Thomas D Mcavoy/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)
The 1936 abdication of Edward VIII 326 days into his reign remains the biggest scandal in modern royal history and caused a worldwide sensation.
Britain’s brief king provoked a constitutional crisis when he stepped down in order to marry the twice-divorced US socialite Wallis Simpson.
The union was deemed impossible while Edward was monarch and head of the Church of England, which at the time refused to remarry divorcees while their former spouse was still alive.
Edward was the first monarch in the 1,000-year history of the British Crown to give up his throne of his own free will.
His brother King George VI replaced him on the throne, and Edward — who married Simpson in 1937 — was subsequently ostracised by the rest of the Windsor family until the late 1960s.
He died in 1972.
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File – London’s mayor of honours with princess Margaret, London 1997 (Photo by Blick/RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II’s fun-loving younger sister, Princess Margaret, also sparked a firestorm with her choice for marriage.
In 1952, the then-22-year-old began a romance with her late father’s divorced equerry, former Royal Air Force officer Peter Townsend.
The couple’s wish to marry prompted a battle between the government and the public — which was seen to be sympathetic to the union — with the queen caught in the middle.
Margaret was eventually persuaded to abandon the relationship, under the threat of losing her royal position, and instead married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.
They divorced in 1978.
A horrible year
© Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
File – Princess Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) and Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, on their honeymoon in Balmoral, August 1981. (Photo by Princess Diana Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
The queen memorably described 1992 as an “annus horribilis” after three of her children’s marriages crumbled.
Heir to the throne Prince Charles’ split from Princess Diana after 11 years of marriage caused a media sensation.
The princess then rocked the monarchy by leaking shocking details of palace life to author Andrew Morton for his 1992 book “Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words”.
Around the same time the queen’s second son Prince Andrew separated from wife Sarah Ferguson, whom he had married six years earlier.
Meanwhile Princess Anne, the reigning monarch’s only daughter, finalised her divorce from first husband Mark Phillips following their separation in 1989.
© Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images
File – Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 – 1997) attends a dinner at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, November 1985. She is wearing an evening dress by Murray Arbeid and the Queen Mary tiara. (Photo by Terry Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images)
The popular princess died in a high-speed car crash in a Paris tunnel in August 1997.
For the next week leading up to her spectacular funeral, Britain was plunged into an unprecedented outpouring of grief which shook the monarchy.
Anger had soon mounted at the silence of senior royals holed up in Balmoral in Scotland, where the queen, Diana’s ex-husband Charles, and their two children, William, 15, and Harry, 12, were holidaying over the summer.
Related Slideshow: Iconic pictures of Princess Diana (Provided by Photo Services)
A picture of Lady Diana Spencer on her first birthday, at Park House in Sandringham, England, on July 1, 1962.
Posing for the camera at Althorp, the Spencer family’s ancestral home in Northamptonshire, England. The photo was taken sometime between 1968 and ’72.
Diana, then a teenager, with her pet pony Scuffle in 1974.
Before her marriage, she worked as a waitress, nanny and a nursery school assistant at the Young England Kindergarten (pictured) in London, England.
Seen with Prince Charles and sporting a sapphire and diamond ring, following the announcement of their engagement, at Buckingham Palace in London on Feb. 24, 1981.
Kissing her husband on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, on their wedding day on July 29, 1981.
On the Royal Yacht Britannia at the start of their honeymoon cruise on Aug. 1, 1981.
During their honeymoon at Balmoral, Scotland, on Aug. 19, 1981.
On her way to attend the Opening of Parliament in London, in November 1982.
Holding her son, Prince William, with (clockwise L-R) Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince Philip and the Queen Mother at Buckingham Palace, after the young prince’s christening ceremony on Aug. 4, 1982.
Riding in a Land Rover at the Hands Oval ground in Bunbury, Australia, on April 8, 1983.
The royals pose for a family photo in Kensington Palace in London, on Feb. 1, 1983.
Posing in front of Uluru, or Ayers Rock, during an official tour of Australia in March 1983.
Greeting a Maori man with a traditional Hongi (rubbing of noses) during a walkabout in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 22, 1983.
On the lawns of Government House, during their tour of Auckland, New Zealand, on April 23, 1983.
Attending a banquet in Nova Scotia, Canada, on June 15, 1983.
With three-month-old Prince Harry on his christening day, on Dec. 21, 1984.
With her sons in Kensington Palace, on Oct. 4, 1985.
Helping Prince William with a puzzle in his playroom in Kensington Palace on Oct. 22, 1985.
Dancing to the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack with actor John Travolta at a White House dinner in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Nov. 9, 1985. This moment led to her Victor Edelstein gown being known as the “Travolta dress.”
She gave a special dance performance at the Christmas Gala in Covent Garden, London, with ballet star Wayne Sleep, to Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” in December 1985.
Relaxing by the sundial at her home, Highgrove House, on July 18, 1986.
Attending a dinner given by the Crown Prince in Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 17, 1986.
With her sons Prince William (R) and Prince Harry, playing in the garden of Highgrove House on July 18, 1986.
Playing with Prince Harry at Highgrove House in July 1986.
The Prince and Princess of Wales, with Prince William and Prince Harry, at Wild Flower Meadow at Highgrove House on July 14, 1986.
With King Juan Carlos I of Spain during a holiday in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on Aug. 14, 1986.
Arriving at the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, for a gala on May 15, 1987.
Driving an armored vehicle with the Royal Hampshire Regiment in Tidworth, England, on June 23, 1988.
Coming in second during the 80-yard sprint at Prince William’s school sports day in June 1989.
In the famous “Elvis dress” during her official visit to Hong Kong on Nov. 8, 1989.
Walking on the beach during a holiday in Necker, British Virgin Islands, on April 11, 1990.
With her sons on a skiing holiday in Lech, Austria, on April 10, 1991.
Holding a baby at a hostel for abandoned children in São Paulo, Brazil, on April 24, 1991.
At the Taj Mahal during a tour of India, on Feb. 11, 1992.
During her last official tour with Prince Charles, in South Korea, in November 1992.
Riding a log flume with her sons at Thorpe Park in England in April 1993.
At the Nemazura Feeding Centre — a Red Cross project for refugees — in Zimbabwe in July 1993.
Signing her official portrait, circa 1993.
At the Wimbledon Tennis finals with her mother, Frances Shand Kydd (L), in July 1993.
With U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton during a luncheon at the British Embassy in Washington D.C., U.S., on Oct. 22, 1994.
In a Christina Stambolian black dress for a Vanity Fair party at the Serpentine Gallery in London on Nov. 20, 1994. It was called the “revenge” dress – she wore it soon after Prince Charles’ infamous adultery admission on television.
Cradling a sick child during her visit to Imran Khan’s cancer hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, in April 1996.
At the English National Ballet in London, on the day her divorce from Prince Charles was finalized,
in August 1996.
In a Ralph Lauren dress as she accompanied the designer to a White House dinner in Washington, D.C., in September 1996.
Wearing protective body armor during a visit to a minefield being cleared by the charity Halo in Huambo, Angola, on Jan. 5, 1997.
With the South African President Nelson Mandela in Cape Town, South Africa, on March 17, 1997.
Holding hands with Mother Teresa following a meeting in the Bronx in New York, U.S., on June 18, 1997.
With ballet dancers from a production of “Swan Lake” at the English National Ballet in London on June 20, 1997.
Meeting children in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on Aug. 11, 1997. This was her last photographed trip before her death at the end of the month.
Newspapers, furious that the Union Jack flag was not flying at half-mast over Buckingham Palace, called on the queen to address her subjects.
Within days she had paid homage to her former daughter-in-law in a televised speech for only the second time in her reign. She also publicly bowed before Diana’s coffin.
Prince Andrew scandal
© 2019 Max Mumby/Indigo
File – LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – DECEMBER 18: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends a Christmas lunch for members of the Royal Family hosted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace on December 18, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Prince Andrew has been dogged by allegations he had sex with one of the then-teenage victims of deceased US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The prince, often referred to as the queen’s “favourite son”, attempted to clear his name in a BBC interview in November but it backfired spectacularly.
He looked stiff and unapologetic in a performance that one public relations consultant said was akin to “watching a man in quicksand”.
The prince promptly promised to “step back from public duties” a few days later but remains under pressure to cooperate with United States authorities still investigating the Epstein case.
Related Slideshow: Prince Harry and Meghan exit – What we know so far (Provided by Photo Services)
Following a six-week Christmas holiday in Vancouver Island, Canada, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced that they intend to step back from ‘senior’ roles in the royal family. On Jan. 8, 2020, the couple shared the news on their official Instagram handle, announcing that they wish to be “financially independent” and split their time “between United Kingdom and North America.”
Here’s what we know so far on the royal move.
On Jan. 8, the couple posted a photo of themselves on Instagram with the statement, “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.”
Buckingham Palace responds to the statement
Following the announcement, the Buckingham Palace released a statement shortly after that said, “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.”
Queen arranges emergency call
On Jan. 9, Queen Elizabeth II reportedly led an emergency four-way call with Prince Charles, Prince William (L) and Prince Harry, ordering to find “immediate solution” to the situation. The teams of Charles and William were asked to arrange meetings with 10 Downing Street, the Home Office and their American and Canadian counterparts to device a suitable proposal.
According to their official website, the couple will continue to use Frogmore Cottage (pictured) in Windsor, England, as their official residence – with the permission of the queen. Details on their North American residence have not yet been revealed.
website also states, five percent of the couple’s funding comes from the Sovereign Grant. The rest 95 percent of the funding are part of the income received by Prince Charles, generated by the Duchy of Cornwall. Following their stepping down, Harry and Meghan will not receive the Grant, but they hope to continue receiving funds from the Prince of Wales.
Personal net worth
According to a report by the Guardian, Prince Harry has inherited an estimated sum of $26 million (£20 million) from his mother, Princess Diana, and nearly $9.1 million (£7 million) from his great-grandmother, the Queen Mother. Owing to her acting career, Meghan has been valued around $5.2 million (£4 million).
Meghan’s Disney deal
On Jan. 11, the Times reported that Meghan has signed a voiceover deal on an undisclosed Disney project to benefit the charity, Elephants Without Borders. As part of royal regulations, the couple were earlier prohibited from earning a professional income.
Urgent meeting at Sandringham
On Jan. 13, the Queen called for an urgent meeting at the Sandringham Estate in England. As future arrangements are slated to be discussed, Meghan was expected to join in via phone call from Canada, as reported by the Associated Press.
Prince Harry and Prince William issue statement
The two brothers released a statement of denial on Jan. 13, after a U.K. newspaper reported there was a growing rift between them amid reports of “bullying.” The statement, issued on their behalf by senior spokespeople, read: “Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the the Duke of Cambridge. For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”
Queen says Harry and Meghan to have ‘period of transition’
After the urgent meeting at Sandringham on Jan. 13, the queen issued a statement: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family. Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.”
Canadian leader’s response
Speaking on the couple’s possible move to Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said there are “still lots of discussions to have” over the plans. He told Global News, “There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the Royal Family, by the Sussexes themselves as to what level of engagement they choose to have… I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have. There is a general feeling of appreciation for the Sussexes.”