On Wednesday, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry threw a curveball when they announced their intention to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family,” move to North America, and become financially independent. I know, it’s a lot to take in, even after the initial sting.
Anyway, it seems their plan may have one small hitch in the form of a 93-year-old royal matriarch …
Soon after the Sussexes’ Instagram announcement reached the masses, Queen Elizabeth’s office released a statement of its own: “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.”
BBC Royal Correspondent Jonny Dymond tweeted that Meghan and Harry’s veritable bombshell was as much a surprise to us as it was to the rest of the royal family and that they’re “disappointed.”
BREAKING. BBC Understands that no other member of the Royal Family was consulted before Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement tonight, the Palace is understood to be ‘disappointed’.— Jonny Dymond (@JonnyDymond) January 8, 2020
Though the whole ordeal feels strangely spontaneous, the Sussex family assured us it was well thought-out with an updated FAQ page on their website, aptly titled “Funding.”
The page in question details why they’ve chosen to sever financial ties, and what exactly that means for a member of the royal family.
Basically, the couple wants to continue to carry out their charity work, but doesn’t want to be restricted from pursuing careers of their own. This transition requires them to opt out of receiving money from the Sovereign Grant, which is the fund that provides payment for their living and work spaces, as well as other expenses. Under the “current structure” neither the Duke nor Duchess of Sussex is able to earn a salary for outside work.
The Sovereign Grant accounts for about 5 percent of the Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The other 95 percent is comprised of income distributed by Prince Charles through the Duchy of Cornwall.
Though they plan to establish a residence in North America, they will maintain Frogmore Cottage and continue to live there when they’re in the U.K.