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Are Harry and Meghan making the right decision?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they are stepping back as senior members of the royal family.

But the shock move raises many questions about their future, not least of all whether Harry and Meghan’s attempt to redefine their royal lives is sustainable.

– What did Harry and Meghan’s statement say?
The couple said in a “personal message” they intend to step back as senior members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to support the Queen.

Harry and Meghan with the Queen

The Sussexes with the Queen (John Stillwell/PA)

– Where will they live?
They said they now plan to balance their time between the UK and North America.

– What about their home Frogmore Cottage in Windsor?
They will continue to base themselves at Frogmore Cottage when in the UK.

Taxpayers paid £2.4 million to renovate Harry and Meghan’s official residence, which the couple moved into just nine months ago.

– Where will they live in North America and will they buy a home there?
This is not yet known. The couple have just spent six weeks in Canada so are expected to base themselves there for part of the year.

– How will they become financially independent?
Their new official website Sussexroyal.com said the couple will no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant from the taxpayer for their official office expenses – which it said accounted for 5% of their office costs.

The Prince of Wales currently pays for the remaining cost of their public duties and some of their private costs from his Duchy of Cornwall income.

But it is not clear cut. The Sovereign Grant is also used to pay for Harry and Meghan’s official royal travel, and their website said they “proudly” carry out official overseas visits in support of the Queen, suggesting they will still continue to do so.

Harry and Meghan on their official tour of South Africa

Harry and Meghan on their official tour of South Africa (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

– Will they be getting paid jobs?
It looks like it in some form. Sussexroyal.com said the couple “value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing.

“For this reason they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence.”

Harry is a former soldier and Meghan is a former actress but the pair are about to launch their new SussexRoyal foundation.

– Will the British taxpayers still pay for their security?
They seem to think so. Sussexroyal.com, referring to armed security by the Metropolitan Police mandated by the Home Office, said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security.”

Protection officers

The Duchess of Sussex is escorted through a market in Suva, Fiji, during an official tour (Ian Vogler/PA)

– But they are no longer senior royals?
Yes this creates a problem. Non-senior royals generally don’t have full-time royal protection officers.

Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie previously faced criticism over the use of taxpayers’ funding for police protection, but the Duke of York now pays for their security himself.

The undisclosed cost of guarding the royal family as a whole is estimated to be more than £100 million a year.

– What about the cost to the Canadians?
If Harry and Meghan base themselves in Canada – a realm of which the Queen is monarch, it raises the question of whether the Canadians will have to contribute to their security costs as well, or even pay for an official residence.

Canada House

Harry and Meghan on a visit to Canada House (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

– Will they lose their HRH titles?
Their statement makes no mention of them losing their HRH titles nor of Harry being removed from the line of succession.

The duke and duchess said they have chosen to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution”.

– Does combining private work with royal duties work?
Having a dual role has proved controversial in the past.

In 2002, the Earl and Countess of Wessex stepped down from their businesses to become full time royals after they were accused of cashing in on their royal status.

Harry’s cousin Zara Tindall earns her own income, but does not carry out royal duties nor live in an official residence.

– What about the Queen and the Prince of Wales?
It is understood that the Queen and the Prince of Wales were not aware of the content of Harry and Meghan’s personal statement before it was issued.

Queen and Charles

The Queen and Charles were not aware of the content of Harry and Meghan’s statement (Matt Dunham/PA)

The announcement was made just seven weeks after the Queen’s second son Andrew stepped back from royal duties after his disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Buckingham Palace has warned that Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back will be “complicated” and talks are still at an early stage.

– Why did Harry and Meghan take the decision?
The couple spoke of their struggles dealing with royal life and the intense tabloid interest in a television documentary about their Africa tour.

Meghan said: “It’s not enough to just survive something, that’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive.”

What do you think about Harry and Meghan’s announcement that they intend to step back as senior royals? Are they making the right decision? Share your views at Speakers Corner 

Are Harry and Meghan making the right decision?

318 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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quietlady
2 days ago
0
Thanks for voting!
I feel with all that is going on Harry will feel he needs to be here to support the royal family. I see they have moved to L.A. this will enable M. to carry on with acting and seeing HER friends. I think that in a few years Harry will come to his senses and come back. With or without M?????
viking
12th Mar 2020
0
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This thread seems to have fizzeld out. Do readers think that things now are as they were 2 months ago ? Watching the TV it looks as if the newshounds have softened a little bit in their reporting, so maybe this is the downturn to a quiter life for them both.
Pendle Witch
28th Feb 2020
0
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If they choose to leave then let them. They are only minor royals anyway.

They should have enough money, between them, to live a very good life.
Malcmister
17th Feb 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
He should stay here, she can go & live where she likes
Goldengirl2
27th Feb 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree! She is playing 'the role of a lifetime' -- has been
since day one. Feel sorry for Harry - and for HM and the members
of the Royal Family.

Meghan has secured herself a comfortable life -- wonder how
long before she 'breaks free' and Harry is left out in the cold??
Slivk22
17th Feb 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
Harry and Meghan are cut from Diana not from the snobbish royal family members who are so crusty and official. The two of them are doers on projects not mouthpieces for the monarchy. They are young and full of fun.
mupps
27th Jan 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I do understand the need to be private, but where Megan said she felt lonely with no one around her, she has now put Harry in the same position, miles away from his family and friends, he is already having some metal problems and he is now being isolated himself
Annskitpow
21st Jan 2020
0
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The media have driven them out. I can see why Harry has no wish to put Meghan through the same as Diana had to endure. The media has to be better regulated. They do not have the right to chase after anyone, be they royalty, 'stars', politicians, or us ordinary mortals. Everyone is entitled to privacy.
Yodama
21st Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Harry's speech was straight from the heart. Leaving his country, his role in the "firm" is a heart-wrenching decision for him.
He makes it very plain that the "powerful" media played a big part of his decision.
"The decision is mine" he says, so I hope all the "Meghan made him do it" brigade will leave them
in peace now.
Sorry to see you leave Harry, you are my favourite royal. Hope you and your family will be happier.
VeraS
20th Jan 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
If that's what they want then let them go but in return lets not have them splashed all over the papers give us all a break
jeaniembe
18th Jan 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
Good luck to them. They have every right to choose a life that suits them and their little boy. I believe they have planned this for a long time and had already put some of the wheels in motion. They appear to have been very thoughtless towards others, especially family. They are not youngsters anymore but do come across as rather childish and petulant. I would not go as far as to blame Meghan more than Harry as it would seem that Harry has wanted out for a long time and Meghan is his ticket out. However I would say that their wish to be ordinary citizens should be granted and they should be free to keep themselves and not to receive money in any way from the British tax payer. I don't think that they should just keep the privileges that suit them.
AlisonP24
26th Jan 2020
0
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Totally agree with you on this, it is an all or nothing situation.
jeaniembe
26th Jan 2020
2
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Thanks but I can't help thinking this will not happen. They will use their Royal status to make money. Otherwise what will they do? Also, and I hope I will be proved wrong, the privacy they so want, will prove to be even less in Canada. They can't just use the press for the publicity that they want and avoid the criticism they don't want. The poor Queen has my sympathy. Her family continue to bring shame and scandal for her. If anyone deserves peace and privacy it is her. Also, the British press have some rules and standards they have to follow. These are not as strict elsewhere.
Irene88
18th Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
In view of overwhelming press coverage I don't blame them one bit. Harry's had to put up with since his Mum died so can understand why he wants to protect his family. His Mum suffered terriebly at the hands of the press with her husbands adultary. in full view. Wouldn't want my partner and chold to put up with what he has to with our gutter press. Just not sure that press in Canada will be any better in view of recent comments I've seen.
jeaniembe
26th Jan 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
The press in Canada will probably be worse. They seem a disfunctional family. Princess Diana was no stranger to courting the press when it suited her. Also didn't she have a few affairs? They should never have got married in the first place. It was far too soon and I can't help feeling Harry and Meghan have jumped into marriage too soon as well.
ChristineB594
17th Jan 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
If it makes them happier then by all means they should "step back" but they can't have their cake and eat it. If they want to be independent then they can't be half in/half out, if they are earning their own money then they should at least be paying towards their own security.
jeaniembe
26th Jan 2020
0
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What are they going to be earning their own money at, is what concerns me and the Queen! Mugs, T-towels, television interviews???
yahsue
17th Jan 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Voted yes but if they are so upset by being in the limelight as Royals they should renounce titles etc fully. I do object to paying for their privileges of house and security if they are not going to be full time Royals. I also agree with you Not2grey - less inflammatory language and name calling in other posts - it is not appreciated or necessary.
Not2grey
17th Jan 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
They have made the decision as a partnership , I don't believe you could make someone do something as important as this . Prince Harry has been unhappy for some time , the clues were there . However I do think that they should be ashamed of the way they treated Her Majesty , a woman who knows the meaning of duty . I also believe that they are either in the Royal family or they are out of it . It seems they want the status and money they seem to think they are entitled to whilst keeping a Royal title w high for me comes with repsponsibilities especially if you are taking money from the public purse / or Prince Charles who only holds the Duchy in trust for the next generation of Royals. They both seem typical of ' The L'Oreal' generation - they think they are worth it .Also I think trying to contain the narrative and decide which news channels will cover them is censorship and has no place if you are a Royal .
I would have had more respect for them if they had just renounced their titles and gone off to earn their own money .As for the arrogance they have shown by saying thatbthey want to modernise the monarchy - words escape me . Well polite ones anyway . What I do dislike is the use of words like idiots snowflake wingers and blaming one person . Could we please go back to having opinions that do not use this kind of inflammatory language . Name calling is not nice and. Retail you not clever . THus is the problem with posting online people say things that perhaps they wouldn't face to face .
jeaniembe
26th Jan 2020
0
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Very well put. Agree with all you have said.
DorisT
17th Jan 2020
4
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They haven’t made the decision, she has. I’m afraid from day one when I first saw her I actually said to my husband ‘She’s going to be trouble’. Why did I say that? I don’t really know it was just a gut feeling, which I get with some people. I think she’s talked Harry into all this, he’s very much in love with her, you can tell by the way he looks at her, and he’s very fragile still. I obviously hope I’m totally wrong of course. I dare say I’ll get a lot of flack by what I’ve said, but at my age it’ll be Water off a ducks back, but I hope someone can see some of what I’m getting at, I suppose all I want is to see Diana’s two boys happy!

DorisT
xx
lpyall
17th Jan 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I think it is an insult to the Queen she has done everything to help Megan including money and is a wonderful model for all the young royals, but the prima donna has no idea how to treat anyone with respect. She is now destroying Harry's relationship with his family and if she thinks the press are going to leave them alone in UK, Canada or the USA she is wrong. Where ever they go they are press fodder and it would be better to improve the relationship like Kate and William have done.

I also feel sorry for Archie as there was a good opportunity for him to mix with his cousins at Xmas, but they took it away from him and apart from Megan's mother there was no mention of any other family with them. Hopefully he will be able to make friends with the rest of his family including his cousins in his later life. Making him move between two countries at his age is crazy and also very dangerous as they all become targets for terrorists in our current climate.
Darkstar
17th Jan 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes get rid of them. Snowflake wingers.
Westminster
17th Jan 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
This is a sad story that will not have a good ending.
Lionel
16th Jan 2020
3
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73% of Canadians polled say they're unwilling to pick up expenses for H & M.

Megan's application for UK citizenship in jeopardy since she plans to be out of UK so much.

This saga just keeps on rolling.
cleggt
16th Jan 2020
-1
Thanks for voting!
Ms Merkel has not be trained for royal duties, she should walk behind Harry not in front , she still think she is on a tv soap
Margaret Hart
15th Jan 2020
7
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I have many Canadian friends and they.certainly don’t want their taxes increased to suit a Soap Actress and a has been a Royal from England. I don’t like saying that with regard to Harry as he is the main one who put his country first and fought for us. I didn’t believe such a great person could have his head turned by such a shallow selfish person. She had expected to be a Princess and as soon as she realised that neither her or her child would be the trouble started. First rugby was too dangerous a game, then Polo was bad for horses and then he couldn’t go on the Annual shoot with his family and friends because she didn’t agree with it. Marriage is a partnership - give and take not everything one person wants. When did Archie become only her child. I hope he soon wakes up.
flowerpower57
15th Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Megan Markle has not been treated very kindly by our press. In his emotional and heartfelt interview in South Africa Prince Harry made it very clear that he couldn’t endure with his wife what his precious mother endured both from the Royal Household and the press! She like MM rebelled and paid the price for doing so with her life, can’t fault Prince Harry for trying/wanting to keep his wife safe even if it means moving countries! Good luck to them!
Yodama
17th Jan 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
You hit the nail on the head. From the very start our mischevious media has relentlessly attacked Harry,
calling into question his birthright among other things. I think the "spare" is thoroughly sick of it all.

Now the woman he loves is attracting the same type of vindictive attention that his mother attracted.
Relentless in their pursuit to demean her and destroy her character. Her family is being manipulated to further these ends.

If anyone is to take responsibility for what is happening to this lovely couple, it must be the salacious media and the people who need these salacious fixes to make their day better.
jeaniembe
26th Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Yes, good luck to them to be happy. However an official visit to South Africa where people are far worse off then them, was not the place to bring up their own issues!
viking
15th Jan 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Every Hollywood star/starlet has ambitions to rise above their compatriots and become ultra "Hollywood Royalty" a la Grace Kelly. These people can come and go as they please to obtain maximum press coverage. However our Royal Family have worthwhile commitments, and have tried in the past to rise above the lifestyle of the Hollywood brigade, until MM appeared on the scene. Many members of the military and the public will sympathise with Harry over this conundrum.
swaneldo
15th Jan 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Yep - get rid along with all the other hangers on and stop funding them with public money which should be spent on countrywide enhancements - NHS; police; life saving drugs being denied due to penny pinching; etc. Let them go bleat about their perceived injustices elsewhere. There are much more worthy recipients in this country who deserve to be funded - I'd much rather contribute to those truly in need and with actual hardships in life.
Broholmer
14th Jan 2020
2
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Isn’t this just the tabloid press generating massive amounts of news out of something that isn’t even really very important, ultimately, what difference will it make to the lives of the average person or the country, whatever these people do ?
Personally, I don’t care !
FredB14
14th Jan 2020
0
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Yet another yank trying to wreck the royal family. Just look back at Edward and Mrs Simpson.
I just feel for the Queen. 3 out 4 children divorced. Now this debacle.
viking
13th Jan 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
If Harry is not up to the rigours of Royal duties because of mental issues, he should be allowed to stand down.
However, I wish all the luck in the world to whoever will have to sort out their forthcoming money problems. But please do not fall back on the taxpayers for foolish settlements.
Raindrop
13th Jan 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I say Good Luck to them. People moan about taxpayers paying for the Royal Family so if Prince Harry and Meghan want to pay their way and live the life they choose, what`s wrong with that? Let`s hope the Queen and Prince Charles will support them.
Gillruss
13th Jan 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Harry is being totally selfish and being manipulated by his wife for monetary reasons only. He is a disgrace, and she should never have been allowed into the family. I am ashamed of thrm
Tr1sh
12th Jan 2020
16
Thanks for voting!
I think the controversy isn't about the decision they have made but the manner in which they have chosen to do it.

As far as I am concerned, they can do whatever they please as long as the taxpayer isn't picking up the bill.
Lionel
12th Jan 2020
9
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And now statements which are tantamount to blackmail threats. The threat of a 'tell-all' TV interview if Megan doesn't get all her demands met.

This isn't going to end well.
Wilf
14th Jan 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I agree Lionel doesn't look too good!
rae2020
12th Jan 2020
10
Thanks for voting!
So disrespectful to the Queen.
If they do not want to be royal then fine but the country should no longer fund or house them or pay for security. All that goes with the status which they choose to relinquish.
The Queen must be so disappointed.
Lionel
10th Jan 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
'Are They Making The right Decision?' I don't know how we may reasonably have a viewpoint.

So many facets of Royal life are veiled from we plebs; we get to know only what their press people deem necessary and often even that is mangled by our red top newspapers. How possible is it to discern truth from sales copy? I don't know.

What does irk me somewhat is the Sussex's lavish spending habits - a million quid on Markle's outfits in less than two years and so much jetting around. Surely Charles who funds them could apply that money to help alleviate the need for so many food banks. And there's a few more things ... quite a few.

Perhaps if the Palace ordered a 'D' notice on all Sussex publicity they would fade back to their rightful place in the royal hierarchy. Or, as many commentators in our newspapers favour, seek pastures new. Now there's a thought ... but the Sussex's got there before me!
HappyHippie
10th Jan 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
she says jump, he says how high, I thought better of this young man
AlisonP24
10th Jan 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
Tricky situation, they need to be happy in their lives but the way they have gone about this is disgraceful. It appears there is a split in the family, which a lot of families have. Such a shame.
ecarg
10th Jan 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
Let them do what they feel is right for them but did they have to do it in such a disrespectful way,As Megan has now gone back to Canada I wonder if there are problems we are unaware of.
MrsPat
9th Jan 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
Yes yes yes get out now and make a break would be my advice or they will spend the rest of their lives in a goldfish bowl for the media.
lavenderzen
9th Jan 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
I wish Harry and Meghan and lovely Archie all the luck in the world in whatever they decide to do.
Munsterlander
9th Jan 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
We really like Harry and think he is a fun and free spirit. I just wish the media would leave them both alone.
Wilf
9th Jan 2020
6
Thanks for voting!
I have not got an issue with any of this we should just let Harry and Megan get on with living life with Archie. Shame if Harry and Will are a bit at odds but they will make up.
RosemaryP45
9th Jan 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
What a waste of frogmore cottage it should be used for functions or hired out To pay for the cost.
penelope1
9th Jan 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
they would not of had the problems from the press if some of their ideas was not so silly and not thought through on their comments. some of what the press was saying, us average people was saying the same. meghan seemed a nice person and should of now be helping harry through some of his mental health problems but a lot seems to be surrouding about what meghan wants. they say they want to spend half their time in canada what happens when their son gets to school age and any other children they may have seems very up in the air idealism
Yodama
9th Jan 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Just two people shackled by tradition and ridiculous rules...trying to live a happy life.
Targeted by a vicious media they have decided to leave for somewhere safer.
Royalty, what is royalty but a disgraceful history of usurpers wielding too much power and wealth.
Harry is trying to break away and will find it nearly impossible to free himself entirely. I do hope he finds a way to support himself and his family without hand-outs from the palace.
Good luck to both of them.
Thingymebob
9th Jan 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for royalty as a whole. What with Prince Andrews scandal , Zara 6 month driving ban. The young royal couple want out because they realise the rest are detached from reality and the common people.
Wilf
9th Jan 2020
5
Thanks for voting!
I feel sorry for the Queen
Munsterlander
9th Jan 2020
6
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I think with Andrew its a real problem but the Brits are very sensible and just see him as a bit of a dimwit whereas the vast majority of Brits love the Queen and indeed Will and Kate.
Lionel
14th Jan 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I feel sorry for the Queen too, and baby Archie. Can't help wondering how he will grow up with a mother like that.

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