The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked fans with their decision to step back from royal duties and become financially independent, which they announced on their Sussex Royal Instagram account on Wednesday evening to their 10.2million followers. The news sparked a lot of reaction, with many people taking to social media to have their say on the decision. "Shocker but expected! The British people never appreciated you and now you belong to the world! We will support you on any endeavor you embark on, on your new journey," one wrote, while another added: "I did not see that coming!" "This is so sad!" a third added.
Watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's year in 2019
Meghan's friend Jessica Mulroney was one of the many people to react to the royal couple's decision
Other people were quick to show their support for Harry and Meghan. "Support for this important decision for your family. Best wishes in your new endeavors," one wrote, while another commented: "Amazing decision, very courageous and absolutely the right thing to do, follow your heart." A third added: "Good for you! Live your lives. Your love. Your way!" Their famous friends also voiced their opinions, with Jessica Mulroney sharing a tribute to Meghan on Instagram by sharing a quote by Gina Carey which read: "A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink." Meghan's other close friend, Daniel Martin, commented on the Sussex Royal Instagram announcement with an equally celebratory message. "On the UP and UP in 2020 my friends," he wrote. "Cheers to new beginnings and always here to support your cause."
The decision to step down wasn't popular with everyone. "They deserve all the criticism that is coming their way! How rude not to discuss with Her Majesty and the future King," one commented, while another wrote: "It's your choice but it's extremely disrespectful not to discuss with the Queen before announcing it on social media." A third added: "If you truly intended to work with the Queen – why was she not informed prior to this bombshell?" Others referenced the timing of the post – a day before the Duchess of Cambridge's birthday. "Not nice to do it the day before Kate's birthday," one fan wrote.
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Meghan and Harry announced their decision to step back from royal duties on Wednesday evening
The Queen has been the only member of the royal family so far to speak out publicly about Harry and Meghan's decision. In a statement via Buckingham Palace, a spokesperson for Her Majesty said: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through." Harry and Meghan's full message announcing their resignation as senior members of the royal family read: "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."
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They spoke about their plans for the future with their eight-month-old son Archie, adding: "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."
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