Duke and Duchess of Sussex step back from senior roles in UK royal family

To become junior royals? :slight_smile:

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As I understand it, a “senior” member of the royal family generally means one who works full time on their royal duties, while the more junior members undertake fewer public engagements and are less prominent in public life. Our British friends will be waking up in an hour or two and will be able to give a better explanation I am sure.

I think this is driven mostly by their desire to get out of the spotlight. It’s pretty obvious neither of them have enjoyed being in the public eye, for a long time. I don’t know quite how it all will work, but certainly they will do less for the royal family than they do now.

I do think it is a shame they didn’t tell the Queen and the rest of the family they were going to put the statement out before they did. I am sorry they’ve struggled with everything, but in this, I think they have made things a lot harder for themselves.


I think Meghan needs more independence to increase her fortune and celebrity.
I hope their plan wil not backfire. The royal family paid for her wedding and the
renovation of their cottage. At least Charles and William can focus on the
future of the monarchy and the jobs they are destined to do.

I think the family is suffering from similar problems to those at the end of Victoria’s reign - there are too many of them with too little to do, only so many ribbons to cut, but this time there’s mass media obsession with the Royal Soap Opera.

Harry’s ‘job’ is the one Andrew has so gloriously failed at over the decades - limelight brother to an heir who won’t inherit for ages and ages - and he’s never shown any enthusiasm for the role.

It’s all part of the problem with Betty’s decision to go on, and on, and on . . . everybody else has been irrelevant for ages.

I think this is going to end badly.


Is it true that Andrew wasn’t really supposed to be in the limelight at all, he was supposed to be a minor royal, but he liked the attention.

The youngest brother (Edward ?) doesn’t seem to be in the media as much.

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Andrew is definitely seen that way! I suppose when he was younger he was second in line to the throne, so he was pretty important, but as Charles had children, and then William had children, his place has dropped down and he’s seen more and more as a hanger-on who should have faded into the background quietly. I think the fact that he’s become less important (in terms of succession) is something all younger children/siblings of the monarchy have to navigate at some point.

Edward is the younger brother, and isn’t really in the media that much. He does quite a bit behind the scenes and he works on the Duke of Edinburgh scheme (it’s a youth programme focusing on things like volunteering and developing outdoor skills) now his father is too old. He’s had a few brushes with the media too though.


I don’t really know, I’m not that much of a Royal-watcher, I remember him mainly as the naval officer husband of Sarah Ferguson, of the “Sarah and Diana Show,” but he did spend a lot of time as a heartbeat away from being the heir to the throne.

I think they’re ok while they’re in the military, it’s when they leave that they really become part of the Royal Soap Opera and, I’d suggest, the only one any good at it in that generation of the family is Anne who did a good job of getting on with stuff. Edward and his wife have done a good job of keeping their heads down after an early mauling by the press.

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I also think the fact that not only did Harry marry an American…but a bi-racial American…I’ll bet behind the scenes the royals and all the other British blue bloods were having conniption fits…the British press sure gave Meghan a hard time

Unlike in other monarchies, abdication has very bad connotations in Britain. Edward VIII’s abdication was a constitutionally traumatic event for the UK and the other Realms. And before that, of course, was James II tossing the Royal Seal in the Thames in fleeing to the Continent during the Glorious Revolution.

But you’re spot on that this mirrors the Late Victorian Era, with oodles of kin and an heir to the throne that spent most of his life as Prince of Wales.

Part of it just comes down to the fact that in ye olden days people didn’t live so long, half a king’s kids would die before they reached adulthood. But when there are lots of kids in a royal family it can spell all kinds of problems. Just look at all the troubles Henry II’s brood caused.


It could be that the House of Windsor will have to face up to the concept of retirement - if ERII lasts as long as her mother, Charles is going to be nearly 80 when he succeeds. If he lasts as long as his parents, then William will be around 60 when he succeeds.

Elizabeth’s father having done the decent thing of dying in his mid-50s meant that she inherited the throne young and, from what I gather, gave a kind of bright, dynamic, fashionable impulse to the country after the grey war/immediate post-war era.

What we’re looking at as a monarchical future is pensioner, after pensioner, after pensioner with young grandchildren getting up to no good. :wink:


This from the article linked was very interesting. I am not sure what she thought she was going to be doing, but…

“ She said she didn’t want to become a voiceless figurehead; but when she raised her voice, she found criticism waiting for her.”

Of course she is to be a voiceless figurehead. What else would she be?

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Perhaps… Perhaps not…


This news doesn’t seem to have been received too well in the UK press, from what I can tell. Most of the coverage is focusing on them trying to have their cake and eat it too. They got their millions from the taxpayers for their wedding, their home renovations, private jets, jewelry, round-the-clock security, etc., and now they want out because they couldn’t handle being in the spotlight, probably taking most of their wealth with them. Well, what did they, and specifically Meghan Markle, who was probably the driving force behind this decision, think the job would entail? Not exactly a good look for them, or for the Royal Family in general.


Given the tendency of our press to chase after any and every opportunity for a feeding-frenzy, there’s absolutely nothing they could have done that would avoid it.


I think that is exactly the line that the British tabloid press and much of social media have been running ever since she came on the scene and is one of the major reasons why she wants to get out of the limelight.

Is it not the case that most British people admire Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to remain as monarch for her whole life? On her 21st birthday she said “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service” and that is a promise that she has certainly kept and seems to show no sign of wishing to break.

To be fair to Queen Elizabeth II, I have read that she absolutely does not tolerate racism. This is said to be because she has always had a special devotion not only to the UK itself but also to the British Empire/Commonwealth. Therefore there are many black presidents, prime ministers, governors general, high commissioners, etc. whom she regards as respected colleagues. At the beginning of her reign, most of Queen Elizabeth’s subjects would have been black, Asian, and indigenous people. I also recall reading that when another guest mistook the black MP Bernie Grant for a servant at Buckingham Palace the queen pointedly said that she knew who he was and had seen him on television. Of course, that is not to say that other members of the royal family or the upper classes may not be racist.


Meghan doesn’t really want to get out of the limelight. She wants to make her own rules and not abide by restrictions put on her by being part of the firm.


Well, I can’t blame Meghan or Harry for wanting to get away from the media. It’s very obvious this decision has been driven by them both. There is a suggestion now that one of the newspapers Harry and Meghan want to step back from was going to publish their plans, so their hand was forced. But they do seem intent on taking the path with most resistance.

It is funny that the UK press has now taken umbrage. They’ve made it very clear from the start that Meghan doesn’t belong in the Royal Family, and they’ve criticised her since day one. It’s no surprise the Sussexes have had enough.

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