- Publish Date
- Thursday, 9 January 2020, 9:10AM
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced they will "step back" as senior members of the British royal family.
The couple has released a statement detailing their decision and intentions:
"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. 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.
"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 Harry and Meghan have made their first appearance of 2020 earlier this week - and put on a very public display of affection.
After a six-week hiatus, the couple stepped out to visit Canada's High Commission in London to thank staff for the "warm" hospitality while on holiday in the country.
The pair were seen holding hands and walking very closely during the meeting with commissioner Janice Charette.
The couple recently returned home from their extended break, having celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with their eight-month-old son Archie out of the public eye.