In early January, Harry and Meghan revealed their plans to step back as senior royals, stating their intent 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.” They also said they planned to balance their time between the UK and North America while “continuing to honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages”. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
This reportedly sparked a rift in the Royal Family, as Buckingham Palace released a statement saying that it was “disappointed”.
The world’s media were also captivated by the story as European press offered varied coverage.
Germany’s most popular daily Bild declared that the announcement had “fallen like a bomb on the Royal Family”.
The tabloid asked: “The exciting question is: will Buckingham Palace hit back?”
German broadsheets struck a slightly more serious tone, with Sueddeutsche Zeitung drawing the inevitable parallels with Britain’s imminent departure from the EU.
In Portugal, popular news site PN announced that the pair had “abdicated” as senior royals and will be spending time in North America.
Spain’s El Mundo led with the Queen’s “disgust” at the decision, while French newspaper Le Figaro said they had “distanced themselves” from the Royal Family.
Noting Buckingham Palace’s response that the couple’s future role “would take time to work through”, the Munich-based daily quipped: “It sounds as if Megxit could turn out to be as messy and long-winded as Brexit”.
He said: “Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”
The prince said he had found “the love and happiness that I had hoped for all my life” with Meghan, but he wanted to make it clear they were “not walking away”.
He added: “The UK is my home and a place that I love, that will never change.”