Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Did This 1 Thing to Prepare to Step Back From Their Royal Duties

The public is still reeling from the sudden news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to step down from their duties as senior royals. But for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, stepping back has been in the works for a while. They even prepared for it.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step back

After a particularly rough year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be leaving their positions as senior royals.

“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,” they wrote in a statement on their Instagram. “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.”

The Sussexes went on to say they plan to divide their time between the United Kingdom and North America. They also intend to launch a new charitable entity.

Why don’t Harry and Meghan want to be senior royals?

The biggest change with the Sussexes’ position is they no longer intend to receive funding from the Sovereign Grant. So why did they decide to step away from the money?

“[The Duke and Duchess of Sussex] value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing,” reads a statement on the Sussexes’ website. “For this reason they have made the choice to become members of the Royal Family with financial independence. Their Royal Highnesses feel this new approach will enable them to continue to carry out their duties for Her Majesty The Queen, while having the future financial autonomy to work externally.”

What did Meghan Markle and Prince Harry do before stepping back?

Sussex Royal, Harry and Meghan’s Instagram account, launched in April 2019 and got millions of followers overnight. They use the account to promote charities and reach their fans, so it makes sense that the couple would want to hold on to the name even after resigning from being senior royals.

The couple submitted the paperwork to trademark the “Sussex Royal” name back in June, and the U.K. Intellectual Property Office published it online in December. It is awaiting approval.