When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced that they will “step back” from their duties as senior members of the British royal family, many members of the public were supportive of their decision in both the U.S. and the U.K.
“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,” they wrote. “We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
But the choice also raised a number of questions – not least from the rest of the royal family at Buckingham Palace, who were reportedly surprised by the announcement.
Are they cutting themselves off financially from the royal family?
“Financially independent” is an interesting term. Sometimes that phrase means independence from family money, but that is not what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have in mind.
Rather, they mean that they will no longer any longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant, the British public funding that supports the official duties of the queen and maintains the palaces occupied by members of the royal family. They will now be able to work and earn income, which they are not permitted to do in their current roles.