Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked the world last week when they announced they would be stepping down as "senior" royals of the family, however, now one of the couple's friends is stepping forward to explain that Markle and Harry's focused changed quite a bit following the birth of their son Archie. They're striving for a more normal life with intent to continue supporting the Queen, but fans and royal experts are having a hard time wrapping their minds around whether they'll step down fully or work part-time.
"When Meghan came around and she was interested in making changes, he [Harry] welcomed it," a friend told PEOPLE, while another added that when Archie was born, their focus shifted to "doing what's right for their family."
The rift began when Markle stepped into Harry's life. There was an alleged conversation between Prince William and Harry where the older brother warned the father-of-one against moving too fast with Markle, which created tension among the siblings. According to one source, royal onlookers were anticipating the brothers working "shoulder-to-shoulder" as they got older, however, time has proven that to be a challenge.
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend 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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, 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. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
The royal couple have spoken about dividing their time between the U.K. and Canada — specifically the area where Markle stayed when she was shooting Suits.
The Queen, who's 93 years old, gave a public statement following their announcement and the family meeting to work out some of the logistics of what's to come for the couple, saying, "Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family. My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family."
A royal historian noted her statement as "moving" since she chose to use words like "my family and I" claiming it's her way of showing she wants to "resolve everything."