Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced some major news on Wednesday. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to "step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family."

"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," the couple wrote via Instagram. "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." 

The dynamic duo also shared their plans to balance their time between the U.K. and North America while continuing to honor their duties to Queen Elizabeth II, the Commonwealth, and their 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," Harry and Meghan concluded, referencing their son Archie Harrison. "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." 

The Palace also released a statement.

"Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," the statement read. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."


While many royal admirers were shocked by the announcement, others had predicted that Harry and Meghan were preparing for their next chapter.

For a look at some of the initial signs, check out the gallery.

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Festival of Remembrance

Chris Jackson/PA Wire

Prince Harry, Prince William, Royal Wedding

Ian West/PA Wire

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Archie Harrison

Toby Melville /PA Wire

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, WellChild Awards

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Prince Charles, Prince William, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Royals, Christmas

Joe Giddens/PA Wire via AP Images

Prince Harry

Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle

Jeremy Selwyn/Evening Standard/PA Wire

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