Prince Harry, Meghan Markle announce plan to ‘step back as senior members of the Royal Family’

Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced on Wednesday that they plan to “step back as senior members” of Britain’s royal family.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year is starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the couple wrote in an Instagram post. “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.”

The couple, who just returned from a week-long stay in Canada over the holidays, dropped a few hints to their future plans in the post.

Harry and Meghan — who was born in Los Angeles and lived for several years in Canada while she starred in the TV drama “Suits,” plan to no longer live full-time in the U.K. — instead choosing to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America.”

“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,” they wrote. “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.”

Shortly after Harry and Meghan’s announcement was posted, Buckingham Palace issued a statement of its own.

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

ABC News understands that none of the other members of the royal family were made aware of the contents of Harry and Meghan’s statement before it was released.

Harry and Meghan currently live with their 7-month-old son Archie in Windsor at Frogmore Cottage, a home given to them by Queen Elizabeth II that they renovated and moved into just before Archie’s birth in May.

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