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In a January announcement, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, revealed plans to step down from their royal duties on March 31, 2020. Through a statement, they noted, “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.”

Goodbye Royal Duties

By abruptly relinquishing their royal duties, the Duchess and the Duke of Sussex hope to create a fresh start while preserving their son’s respect for the royal tradition. The BBC reports that the remaining royal family is disappointed and hurt by their decision, which was apparently not disclosed to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William, or the other senior royals until the couple announced it on Instagram.

Here is an excerpt: ?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.”

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Harry would have been sixth in line to inherit the crown, behind Prince Charles, Prince William, and his three children. The post continues, “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.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Home Life

After stepping down from their position, Megan and Harry moved to California. They stayed in Los Angeles until finding their future home: a nine-bedroom mansion estimated to be sold for $14 million. They remain in contact with the rest of the royal family via zoom. Last year, the couple welcomed their son Archie into the would. Unfortunately, only a year late, the Duchess of Sussex had a miscarriage. She wrote about the tragedy in a moving opinion piece in The New York Times.  ?Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few,? Meghan said.

Now, the couple and their son Archie are getting ready to celebrate the holidays in the U.S. for the first time ever. Of course, Christmas plans for all the British royal family members are going to be a little different this year thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic. Back in London, traditional events like Christmas lunch at Buckingham Palace have been canceled as Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip isolate at Windsor Castle to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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Meghan and  Harry are planning to spend the holiday with Meghan’s mom, Doria Ragland, and baby Archie in Montecito.  Meanwhile, Kate Middleton, Prince William, and the Cambridge children will celebrate at Anmer Hall in Norfolk. According to People, Meghan and Harry will celebrate their first Christmas in their U.S. family home,  in their new neighborhood of Montecito, California. As for Kate and William, a source told the magazine they “are waiting to hear [about U.K. government guidelines] just like everyone else” to determine whether they can visit the Queen. The source added, “The children miss their great-granny, but it’s the same rules for them as everyone.”

Watch: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Reveals She Had a Miscarriage in July

A lover, fighter, and freelance writer, María Cristina hunts down buzzworthy stories by day and trains to be a championship kickboxer by night. As a full-time digital nomad, she's lived everywhere from Chicago to Mexico City to Medellín to Bali -- but Austin, Texas will always be home.
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