Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle stunned the British monarchy quitting as senior royals.
Prince Harry did not consult Queen Elizabeth regarding his decision, reports said.
In a shock announcement, the couple said they would spend time in North America and rip up long-established relations with the press.
According to media reports, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their bombshell statement without notifying either Harry’s grandmother or his father Prince Charles.
The surprise news follows a turbulent year for the couple.
The couple openly said they have struggled in the spotlight and grown apart from Harry’s brother Prince William.
They have also reacted badly to negative news coverage.
“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the royal family and work to become financially independent.
“However, we continue to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” the couple said in a statement.
“We have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they added.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America.”
The announcement appeared to catch the royal family by surprise.
Queen Elizabeth’s response to Prince Harry’s shocking decision
In a statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth, royal communications called the decision ‘complicated.’
“Discussions with Harry and Meghan are at an early stage,” the statement read.
“We understand their desire to take a different approach.”
“But, these are complicated issues that will take time to work through”, the statement said.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.
They announced to work to become financially independent.
The couple also said they plan to balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
While, they will continue to honor their duties to Queen Elizabeth II and their royal patronages.
The royal dignitaries enjoyed an extended break in Canada over the holidays.
They made their first official appearance of the new year to visit Canada House in London.
They also thanked the High Commissioner for the hospitality they received abroad.