Did Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Drop Subtle Clues About Their Decision to Quit Their Royal Duties?

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle enjoyed an extended break from royal life over the holidays, they decided to extend that break even more, making it official with the shocking announcement that they will “step back” as senior royals. Before the announcement came, however, the Sussexes had their first royal engagement since their six weeks off, dropping some subtle hints during their visit to Canada House that they had a big change of plans in their near future.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry clues
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to “step back” from duties

In a surprising move, Prince Harry and Markle announced they would “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.”

They shared the news on Instagram, writing: “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.”

They added: “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 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.”

They also noted: “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.”

Prince Harry and Markle gushed about their time off from royal life

Now that we know that Harry and Markle intend to leave their royal duties, it’s interesting to investigate their appearance at Canada House in London and see if there were any tell-tale signs of what was to come.

Markle and Prince Harry returned to their royal duties after a six-week break and their first engagement now seems very revealing. During their appearance, they gushed about their time in Canada, thanking the Commonwealth nation for its hospitality during their visit.

Markle spoke to the high commissioner and staff at Canada House, sharing: “I want to say happy new year and thank you, and as my husband said, my goodness it was just such an incredible time we were able to have there, and with our son too.”

She continued: “And just to be able to take in the warmth that we experienced from the people, but also just to walk around and just see the beauty of Canada. To see Archie go ‘ahhh’ when you walk by, and just see how stunning it is — so it meant a lot to us.”

Prince Harry noted, “What a beautiful place you live in,” saying “thank you so much” and “not that you had anything much to do with it. But the warmth and hospitality we were shown while there was unbelievable, and that’s exactly why we chose to go out there.”

Were there signs of their shocking announcement?

In addition to the praise they had for Canada, it was interesting to note that Prince Harry and Markle extended their visit by 15 minutes beyond the scheduled time.

Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams shared with Express how the couple appeared to be “energized” after their much-needed break, sharing, “There seems no doubt that Harry and Meghan appreciated Canadian hospitality.”

He added: “They also feel energized and are looking forward to returning to royal duties, something their unwise ITV documentary on their Southern Africa tour put in doubt.”

Of course, now that they’ve announced this “step back,” their energy at Canada House was likely a result of their time away from the spotlight.