Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are stepping away from "senior" royal roles and will work toward becoming financially independent, they announced on Wednesday. They will now be dividing their time between Britain and North America.
"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," they said in the statement.
Harry and Meghan are not the first members of the royal family to step away from public duties, although they are the highest in the line of succession. For example, Princess Anne's children, Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall, are not "working" members of the royal family and Prince Andrew's daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, do not have have official roles in the monarchy.
In their statement, Harry and Meghan said they wanted to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution."
Britain's The Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday that the pair were considering moving to Canada, although Meghan and Harry did not specify where in North America they would live. They made headlines recently when they spent Christmas in Canada, rather than with Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the family in England.
The royal family's cost to taxpayers is source of controversy in Britain. The Sovereign Grant, the funding provided to the royal family, cost British taxpayers £76.1 million, or $99 million, in 2017-18, according to BBC News.