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

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(ABC News/WTNH)– Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, announced Wednesday they plan to “step back as senior members” of Britain’s royal family.

The couple announced the move on Instagram:

“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.”

Related: Prince Harry invokes Princess Diana’s death in new legal action against British tabloid

The couple, who just returned from a weeks-long stay in Canada over the holidays, gave several hints to their future plans in the post.

FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020 file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex smile during their visit to Canada House, in London. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan ‘stepping back’ as senior UK royals, will work to become financially independent, they announced Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020.(Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool Photo via AP, file)

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. and will instead “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America.”

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“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.”

– Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Sussexes

The move surprised a lot of people, including the Queen.

Sources told CNN she asked her grandson to not issue any statements about his family’s future plans, but Harry and his wife did it anyway.

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