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"It is absolutely unprecedented." Exactly how royal experts reacted to Meghan and Harry's exit.

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On Saturday, the Queen announced her new agreement with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle following their decision to step down as senior members of the British Royal Family.

Following a period of discussions, Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would lose their “Royal Highness” titles and pay back the money from their AUD$4.5 million renovations on Frogmore Cottage.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” the Queen said in a statement released over the weekend.

“I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”

Mamamia’s daily news podcast, The Quicky, investigates Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to leave the Royal Rota behind. Post continues below.

In their original statement, Harry and Meghan shared their plans to become financially independent and split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.

However, according to a statement from Buckingham Palace, which confirmed the terms around the couple’s withdrawal as senior royals, it appears the new agreement is far stricter than what was initially anticipated.

After all, while Meghan and Harry intended to essentially be part of the Royal Family on a part-time basis, the Queen has decided that they cannot be half-in, half-out.

This new agreement, which will come into force in the coming months, means that the couple are no longer working members of the Royal Family and will henceforth no longer represent the Queen.

Today, in a speech delivered at a private charity dinner, Prince Harry further detailed his decision to step down.

Speaking at the Ivy Chelsea Club in London, Harry said that there was “no other option” but to step down, adding that he wanted to make it clear that they weren’t “walking away” from their royal duties.

 

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at tonight’s dinner for supporters of Sentebale in London Video © SussexRoyal

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

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“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” he explained.

“I’ve accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”

Since Buckingham Palace released a statement detailing the logistics behind Meghan and Harry’s exit, the world has been divided in their reactions to the announcement. Here are just some of the reactions:

The Queen on Harry and Meghan.

When the future details of Harry and Meghan’s place in the Royal Family were announced over the weekend, two statements were released.

While a statement from Buckingham Palace outlined the new arrangements for the couple, the Queen’s statement was highly emotional.

“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family,” the Queen said in a statement.

“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”

In an interview in October 2019, Meghan Markle admitted that she was struggling behind the scenes. Post continues below.

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Last week, it was also reported that the Queen was “entirely supportive” of Harry and Meghan’s decision.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the 93-year-old monarch said in a statement.

Royal experts on the decision.

Since the Queen’s statement was released over the weekend, royal experts have described the move as “unprecedented” and a “huge deal”.

Dick Arbiter, the ex-royal press secretary, was particularly shocked by the fact that Harry and Meghan will pay back the money from their AUD$4.5 million renovations on Frogmore Cottage.

“No Royal has ever paid back money as Harry and Meghan are doing with Frogmore Cottage,” he said.

“It is absolutely unprecedented.”

Hugo Vickers, a royal expert for Mail on Sunday, added that the decision to pay back the funds for Frogmore Cottage is the right thing to do.

“It has always seemed to be an exceptionally large amount,” he said.

“They cannot be seen to profiteer on the back of royalty and they do not wish to be seen as a burden on the British taxpayer.”

He also agreed with the Queen’s decision to strip Harry and Meghan of their royal titles.

“It is absolutely right that Harry and Meghan should not use their HRH titles as the danger of appearing to exploit them for commercial gain is all too real,” he said.

Queen elizabeth meghan markle prince harry
Image: Getty.
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Andrew Morton, Princess Diana's biographer, agreed that Meghan and Harry dropping their HRH titles is a "landmark move".

"The disappearance of those initials next to their names – although technically they still have them – might not mean much to you and I. But inside the Royal Family, it is a huge deal," he said.

In the UK Telegraph, royal expert Camilla Tominey said this decision is the "hardest Megxit possible for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex".

"While insisting Harry, Meghan and Archie 'will always be much loved members of my family', the 93-year-old monarch could not be clearer on their ongoing role in the Firm – it's over," she said.

On the other hand, The Independent's Sean O'Grady dove deeper into the Queen's statement, analysing the meaning behind her words.

"No one does understatement and euphemism like the Queen. In the Buckingham Palace statement, her meaning is clear: 'I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,'" he explained.

"'Intense scrutiny' means 'the press made their lives hell' and 'independent life' means they don't wish to put up with it any longer.'"

Feature Image: Getty.

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