British regal luminaries Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced on Wednesday their plans to "step back" from their roles as senior royals, stating their intent to "carve out a progressive new role" within the royal hierarchy.
The pair revealed their plans to become "financially independent" of the royal family "while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen." They also plan to split their time between the U.K. and North America.
The young duke and duchess have been known to flout convention in the past. Markle made a speech at the duo's wedding reception, a break from royal tradition. The two held their wedding on a weekend as opposed to the standard weekday royal wedding, as well.
Their full statement:
"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 honor 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."