What Happens Now? The Realities Of Meghan And Harry’s Shock Announcement

Could this mean the return of The Tig? And what happens to Frogmore Cottage?

What Would Happen If Prince Harry Left The Royal Family?

by Rebecca Reid |
Updated on

So, in news even bigger than Justin Bieber having Lyme disease, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have announced that they are 'stepping back' from the royal family and demi-moving to North America.

Where will their money come from?

As part of their move, Meghan and Harry will no longer be taking an allowance from the Queen. However that doesn't mean that they're going to be on their own. Only 5% of their income was actually from the Queen. The rest of it comes from the Duchy (AKA Prince Charles). It seems that at least initially they'll be keeping that income. The Sussex Royal website says: ' Since the establishment of The Office of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, 95 percent of the funding received for their Office expenditure is derived from income allocated by HRH The Prince of Wales, generated through the Duchy of Cornwall.'

Even if they do eventually stop taking money from the Duchy, they're unlikely to be on the breadline. Unlike the Cinderella figure she was made out to be, Meghan was wealthy in her own right before she married Harry. The Duchess of Sussex previously had a personal fortune of around £3.8 million, according to The Independent.

Prince Harry is allegedly worth around £30 million, most of which was inherited from his great-grandmother the Queen mother, who left most of her income to her grandsons, and from his late mother, the Princess of Wales who left three quarters of her estate to her sons and the other quarter to be divided between her 17 godchildren.

Will they start working?

Previously they wouldn't have been allowed to take a salary. Harry's military earnings were donated to charity. However, the couple will no longer be bound by royal protocol, meaning that they will be able to do endorsement deals to make money. Sarah Ferguson famously did this after she split from Prince Andrew, becoming the face of Weight Watchers and collaborating with QVC. Could this signal the rebirth of The Tig? Or even Tig Tots - the domain name copyrighted by the Duchess in 2019.

Can Meghan go back to Instagram?

The couple will be able to work, if they want to, and could return to social media.

What will the UK still pay for?

According to their website, Harry and Meghan intend to foot the bill for most of their own travel costs going forward. SussexRoyal.com says: 'All travel arrangements undertaken by The Duke and Duchess in their private time have always been and will continue to be paid for privately and not by UK taxpayers. With their transition to becoming members of the Royal Family with financial independence this will continue to be the case. Wherever possible and unless advised otherwise on security grounds, their logistical arrangements are undertaken via commercial air carriers, local trains and fuel-efficient vehicles, be it for official or personal travel.'

Security will still be provided by the UK government. They explain: 'The provision of armed security by The Metropolitan Police is mandated by the Home Office, a ministerial department of Her Majesty’s Government, responsible for security and law & order. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are classified as internationally protected people which mandates this level of security.'

What Happens To Frogmore Cottage?

Frogmore Cottage, the Sussexes' home in Windsor, which is owned by the Queen but was given to the couple to live in, will still be their primary residence, but it sounds like they'll probably also have another home in North America.

The Sussexes go to quite a lot of effort on their website to clarify that the much criticised renovation of the cottage was part of essential works, not a whim. 'The refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, the Grade-2 listed building in Windsor Home Park was funded by Her Majesty The Queen through the Sovereign Grant, reflecting the Monarchy’s responsibility to maintain the upkeep of buildings with historical significance ... Expenses related to fixtures, furnishings, and fittings at the official residence – which is owned by Her Majesty the Queen – were funded privately by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. '

Is There Historic Precedence?

They're not the only royals who have done similar, of course. Other people have previously left the royal family, most famously Edward the VIII, who gave up the throne because he wanted to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. He was king for 326 days before making a public radio broadcast where he said he wanted to bail as king so he could 'marry the woman he loved'.

After he quit, Edward moved abroad and settled in Paris. He and Wallis received an allowance from the royal family, which they were purportedly not pleased by and considered to be stingy. They came back to the UK intermittently but relations were strained with the Queen and her mother, who apparently considered Edward VIII selfish for giving up the throne and later held him responsible for her husband's stress and premature death.

Unlike Edward VIII, Prince Harry is extremely unlikely to ever actually rule, which means that his 'abdication' wouldn't really be an abdication. He could, however, give up his title and revert to being a civilian, and reject the allowance that he gets from the royal family, which isn't specified. We do know that in 2017, Harry, Kate and William had a combined allowance of £3 million.

Princess Anne is probably the royal who has taken the most space from 'The Firm' in the sense that her children Zara and Mark Phillips don't have titles and are technically civilians. However, she does have the title Princess Royal and year-on-year performs the most engagement of any family member.

What Happens To The Line Of Succession?

It's not clear whether this 'step back' will remove Harry from the line of succession, which currently goes Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis, Prince Harry, Archie Mountbatten Windsor, then Prince Andrew. So Andrew would be boosted up two rungs if Harry did preemptively abdicate.

The Evening Standardreports that Harry had previously considered handing in his royal resignation but that the Queen has talked him out of it. Interestingly, Prince Philip had to give up his own royal title as Prince of Greece and Denmark, in order to be able to marry into the British royal family, so there's an element of history repeating itself.

The writers of The Crown must not be able to believe their luck.

SEE: Meghan Markle And Prince Harry's Relationship History


Meghan Markle And Prince Harry's Relationship Timeline

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met in London in July 2016.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

They were introduced by mutual friend Markus Anderson, who is the director of Soho House.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In October 2016, the Express became the first newspaper to publish news that Prince Harry had a new girlfriend.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

On November 8th 2016, Kensington Palace released an unprecedented statement which referring to Markle as Harry's girlfriend for the first time.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In the statement, Prince Harry condemned the 'wave of abuse and harrassment' faced by Markle, saying that he was 'worried about Ms. Markle's safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her.'

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Prince Harry and Meghan Marklec

'It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms. Markle should be subjected to such a storm,' the statement continued.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple were papped together for the first time in December 2016, shopping for a Christmas tree in London at the Pines and Needles store.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Later that week, they were seen on London's West End, catching a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In February, Prince Harry wore a his 'n' hers bracelet on the cover of Town & Country magazine, just weeks after Markle was pictured wearing the same one on Instagram.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In March 2017, Meghan joined Prince Harry in the Caribbean for the wedding of his friend's Tom 'Skippy' Inskip and Lara Hughes-Young.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

It was the first time that Markle accompanied Harry to a wedding, marking another milestone occasion for the couple.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The first public event attended by the couple was the polo at Coworth Park in May 2017.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Later in May, Markle attended the party portion of Pippa Middleton's wedding to James Middelton.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry was seen driving her to the event after the church ceremony.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple were photographed together the following day at the wheelchair tennis.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple 'broke with royal protocol' by holding hands and appearing affectionate while at the Invictus Games.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Meghan referred to Harry as her boyfriend numerous times, saying: 'We're a couple. We're in love. I'm sure there will be a time when we will have to come forward and present ourselves and have stories to tell, but I hope what people understand is that this is our time.'

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In early November 2017, it was reported that Meghan Markle was leaving Suits after seven series.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Much was made of Markle's choice of outfit: ripped jeans and a white blouse called 'The Husband'.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Although Prince Harry was sat next to First Lady Melania Trump at the event, rather than his girlfriend, she was only seated a few rows behind him.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple made their first official public appearance in September, when Markle attended the opening of Prince Harry's Invictus Games.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In mid-November 2017, bookies suspending betting on an impending royal engagement, as speculation grew that an announcement was about to be made.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

On November 27th 2017, Prince Charles announced the engagement of his younger son Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after 15 months of dating.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple later appeared at a photocall, with Markle wearing a white dress coat by Canadian brand Line The Label. The website has subsequently crashed.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The engagement ring, by Cleave and Company, was reportedly designed by Prince Harry himself, using two stones that belonged to Princess Diana.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

When asked by waiting photographers if the proposal was romantic, Harry joked 'of course!'

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple indulged in some PDA at the closing ceremony.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Meghan wore a maroon midi dress with a pleated chiffon skirt by one of her favourite Canadian brands Aritzia.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

She teamed it with a matching burgundy biker jacket by Mackage.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry reportedly spent time with Meghan's mother Doria while at the Games too.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Prince Harry was photographed kissing Meghan.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

In late September 2017, it was reported that Meghan had met the Queen, prompting speculation that the relationship was getting serious.

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