Prince Harry, Meghan Markle step back as senior royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to step back as "senior members" of the British Royal family, the couple said in a statement on Jan. 9.

"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," the statement from Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle said.

"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," the couple added.

The statement came following local tabloid reports that the couple would renounce their royal titles and move to Canada, a claim the Buckingham Palace refused to comment on.

The statement on Instagram, the couple said they are now planning to balance their time between the U.K. and North America, and continue to honor their duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and their patronages.

They said they intend to launch a new charitable entity and would share the "full details of this exciting next step in due course".

The statement followed a six-week-long trip to Canada with their son Archie.

Prince Harry is sixth in line to ascend to the British throne and got married to former American actress Meghan Markle in May 2018.

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