Duke And Duchess Of Sussex To Step Back As 'Senior' Royals

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced they will "step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family", aiming for a progressive, financially independent role within the institution.

The announcement was made yesterday, before any consultation with Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales.

A personal message from Prince Harry and Meghan detailed how the couple will now divide their time between the UK and North America.

The pair have recently returned from a six-week holiday in Canada, amid growing frustrations with media pressures associated with the role.

Uncertainty now surrounds how the new arrangement will work in practice, but the Royal couple say they will continue to honour their patronages, which include the Invictus Games.

The competition was founded by Prince Harry back in 2014 for injured, sick and wounded Armed Forces personnel and veterans.

Striking a "geographical balance" is intended to help their newborn son develop "an appreciation for the royal tradition", while enabling Duke and Duchess to focus on charitable work.

In response to the Duke and Duchess' announcement, Buckingham Palace has said: "Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage.

"We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

WATCH: The couple made their first public appearance together in 2017 during the Invictus Games in Toronto.

Recent engagement with the British military has included a Christmas message for young children who have lost a parent in the UK Armed Forces.

Prince Harry served in the Army for ten years, rising to the rank of captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan.

In 2014, the Duke took on a staff officer role in the Army, based in London, and kickstarted the Invictus Games that year.

The first event was held in London, followed by tournaments in Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018, with The Hague hosting the 2020 competition in May.

The Duke and Duchess made their first public appearance together during a tennis event at the Toronto tournament.

Prince Harry ended his career with the Army in June 2015.

Two years ago, Prince Harry was formally appointed Captain General Royal Marines by the Queen, succeeding the Duke of Edinburgh.

Cover image: The Duke and Duchess when they announced their engagement in 2017 (Picture: PA).

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