“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.”
9 January, 2020
The decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to seek a measure of privacy in their lives and that of their son, Archie, has come as no real surprise as this is something that has been in the air for some time. The intense media intrusion into the Duchess’s family and unexpected criticism of the Duke over jet travel whilst promoting environmental policies would have undoubtedly have firmed their decision.
The statement by Buckingham Palace is an indication that the Queen does understand their quest for privacy and is doing everything possible to accommodate them.
Statement by Buckingham Palace on discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Published 8 January 2020
“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.”
The statement by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex says that they will “work to become financially independent” which means that they do not intend to be supported from the public purse. Whilst this is an admirable objective it is also one which is fraught with difficulty for any member of the royal family.
The people most affected by this decision will, of course, be the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who, together with their son, Prince George (aged 6), will be required to take up the slack. This also fits into the concept of the modern monarchy with emphasis being given to the line of succession.
However, it is, as yet, unclear on how the various charities in which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are involved either as patrons or otherwise, will be affected. Charitable activities form a major part of the lives of members of the royal family who all to continue to be greatly sought-after to lend their support to various causes.
Prince Harry has enjoyed immense popularity in Australia and many people will be sorry to see him take a step backwards. However, being 6th in succession to the throne, his proposed semi-retirement will have no constitutional consequences for Australia.
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