As reported by the BBC and posted on their Instagram page,
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex” – the above-mentioned Harry and Meghan – “have announced they will step back as ‘senior’ royals and work to become financially independent.
“In a statement, Prince Harry and Meghan also said they plan to split their time between the UK and North America…
“In their unexpected statement on Wednesday, also posted on their Instagram page, the couple said they made the decision ‘after many months of reflection and internal discussions.'”
Here’s an excerpt of that Instagam post:
“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.“
To which Gavin Ashenden, the former Queen’s Chaplain who became a Continuing Anglican Bishop, and more recently “swam the Tiber” to Rome, responds (accurately, in my opinion):
“The announcement from Harry and Meghan will cause a variety of responses from the public. One of them will be sadness. There is a tragic element to the blinkeredness and immaturity that mistakes a bid for independence as ‘carving a progressive role.’
“It isn’t that at all of course. In reality it is choosing between two competing philosophies or ethics.
“One, which the monarchy is founded on and depends on, is a Christian one in which doing one’s duty on behalf of others takes priority over self-interest. The other is a concentration on self-interest and self expression (however it is justified) at the expense of self-sacrifice and duty.”
Indeed. There could hardly be more difference between their proclamation and that of Harry’s grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, in 1947, when she promised her people,
“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”
That is the very definition of self-sacrifice and duty, and Her Majesty has lived it, as she promised, all her life long. Her devotion to her people, her realms, and the Commonwealth is unquestionable, as is her sense of duty. A shame it has not run true, through the generations.
Thankfully, HRH Prince William and Katherine, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William being second in line to the Throne following his father, HRH Charles Prince of Wales), seem rather more solid than the Sussexes. I hope and pray that proves to be the case!
N.B. – Also from the BBC article:
“Former Buckingham Palace press officer Dickie Arbiter suggested the decision showed Prince Harry’s ‘heart ruling his head.'”
I would say that is a pretty good condensation of the saga of Harry and Meghan, in general.