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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Announce They're "Stepping Down" From Royal Duties

The Sussex family will also be moving abroad

In a newly released statement, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced that they'll be stepping away from their royal duties, along with an impending move to North America.

A post to their official Instagram account, @SussexRoyal, explains that after months of deliberation the couple will be "stepping back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family" and becoming "financially independent". The statement also reads that the couple, along with their baby son Archie, will be splitting their time between both the UK and an undisclosed location in North America.

They explain that the moves comes about in order to raise their little one "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".

In full, the post reads: “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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It continues on to say, "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 may not come as a surprise to fans of the royal family, given that in the past Harry and Meghan have been outspoken about the pressures that accompany life in the limelight, with the former actress saying, "When I first met my now-husband, my friends were really happy because I was so happy. But my British friends said to me, 'I'm sure he's great but you shouldn't do it, because the British tabloids will destroy your life'."

We'll update this story with more details as they emerge.