Your chances of running into Prince Harry at the grocery store have increased. Perhaps you might even find Archie in your kid’s yearbook. The chance of being in the same spin class as Meghan? Unlikely, but not impossible.
The ex-royal couple announced that they will be stepping down from their duties as senior members of the royal family in favor of a more independent life. In a statement issued on their website, they announced that while they plan to continue fully supporting Queen Elizabeth, they now plan to balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
Following their decision, Meghan and Harry will stop using their royal titles, give up state funding and will have to repay taxpayers a whopping $3 million to compensate for the refurbished Windsor Castle.
The bombshell announcement is hardly shocking. Meghan has consistently found herself in the center of media scrutiny since becoming a member of the royal family.
Meghan’s own family has even gotten in on the action — with her own father and half-sister among the most outspoken voices against her. Her father, Thomas Markle, referred to the couple as “Walmart with a crown.”
“Apparently $3 million and a 26-room home isn’t enough for them,” he said, referring to their U.K. home called “Frogmore Cottage,” located near Windsor Castle. “It is kind of embarrassing to me.”
Prince Harry is no stranger to the bully pulpit that is the media — its obsessive fixation on his mother, Princess Diana, even played a role in her death in 1997. A jury ruled that the cause of the car accident that took her life was, in part, the paparazzi chasing her car. Prince Harry has previously stated that the stress and the pressure that sometimes comes with royal duties reminds him of that darkness and his mother’s pain.
“I think being part of this family, in this role, in this job, every single time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash, it takes me straight back,” he said. “So, in that respect, it’s the worst reminder of her life, as opposed to the best.”
So, whats next for the couple? Following the announcement, Harry and Meghan reunited in Canada, and it is anticipated the couple will spend most of their time there. While the country is pleased to welcome Harry and Meghan, their new neighbors are already setting some guidelines.
“Canadians are pleased to welcome the Duke and Duchess to Canada, but have made it crystal clear that taxpayers should not be forced to support them while they are living here,” said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of Canadian Taxpayer Federation. “All Canadians wish them well as they realize their ambition of financial independence.”
Welcome to the real world, Harry and Meghan. Hopefully you packed lottery tickets and a Netflix account.