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Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Step Down From Royal Duties

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex - Prince Harry and Meghan Markle - have announced their plan to step back from their duties as "senior member" of the Royal family.

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The royal couple expressed their decision in a statement on their website and Instagram page:

“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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote on 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.

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our 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.

"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 announcement comes after months of rumours that the couple were distancing themselves from the monarchy amid pressures of royal life and media scrutiny.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex along with baby Archie spent the recent Christmas holidays without the rest of the royal family. The Sussexes spent it in Canada with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.

Harry is sixth in the line of succession to the British throne, after his father Charles, his older brother William, and William's three children.

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