Megxit: What you need to know about Harry and Meghan’s exit plan

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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What you need to know: Harry and Meghan’s exit plan

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

On Wednesday, His Royal Highness Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, the duchess of Sussex, announced plans to step back from their roles as senior members of the British royal family.

They announced their decision to leave the royal family on their website, something roughly akin to resigning via Twitter.

The announcement, by most accounts, was a surprise to Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and every other person in England who has a royal title.

While some media outlets are reporting that Harry was in "talks" with his father about his plans, it was understood that the talks were ongoing and that a public announcement was not to come until later.

The queen, it is said, was not amused.

Prince Charles, Harry's father, and Prince William, Harry's brother, were described as "incandescent with rage," emotions normally reserved for the bombing of London during World War II or someone not holding their serve at Wimbledon, not the fact that a 35-year-old is moving out of his grandmother's house. 

In addition to plans to step back from their duties, the statement also says the couple will be moving toward being “financially independent.” The keywords here being “moving toward.”Here’s a look at the couple’s exit plan and what it means.

What did Sussex’s statement say? 

Here is the test of their statement:

January 2020

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.”Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex

What did the royal family say about the announcement? 

The official announcement from the Palace was this: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," the statement began. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

What do they mean they want to be financially independent? 

In essence, it means they want to leave their job but keep the company car. Almost all of the Sussex's' income comes from Prince Charles, Harry's father. In total, according to BBC, this funding is around $5 million British pounds or $6.5 million U.S. dollars.

Prince Charles gets his money from income earned from the Duchy of Cornwall, which is a portfolio of property and financial investments. The BBC reported that the Duchy of Cornwall brought in 21.6 million pounds last year. The other 5% of their income comes from the Sovereign Grant, or money paid to the royal family from the British government. It is meant to cover expenses for the upkeep of residences and for expenses connected to official duties.

The website says they intend to stop taking money from the Sovereign Grant on their way to financial independence.

Harry and Meghan say that as senior royals, they are not allowed to earn their own income. However, in June they trademarked the Royal Sussex brand. It has been applied to more than 100 items so far, such as photographs, stationery, clothing and educational endeavors.

Will they still have their royal titles?

Since the relationship status with the family is now "complicated," it's not clear if they would retain their royal titles if they step away from the job. According to their website, the couple seems to think so.

On the site, they refer to continued work with their special patronages, and not unlike a delicate balance between in-laws at a Thanksgiving dinner, they compliment the queen throughout the website while making it clear they intend to do what they wish in the future.

What about their home, Frogmore Cottage?

The couple will continue to live at their newly renovated Frogmore Cottage when they are in town, according to their website, so that “Their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom.”To use Frogmore, the couple will need the queen’s permission. The home just underwent a multi-million dollar renovation

So, does the queen have to OK their run for the border?

Speaking of permission, generally, the queen approves any big, and some say many small things, connected to the royal family.

According to one report, Elizabeth knew that Harry and Meghan wanted to make this move, but told the couple that he had to work out all the details with Charles before she would meet with them to talk about her approval.

The plan did not include Harry and Meghan making the announcement on their website.

Why now and what’s next?

Media coverage of the couple, particularly of Meghan, has been brutal at times. It’s been suggested that the couple decided on the move because a life living in that kind of environment would not be good for them or their son. Prince Harry has described his mental health as a matter of “constant management”.

According to their announcement, the couple plan to launch a new "charitable entity,” though it is unclear as to what that may be. It could be related to Africa, as the couple have both expressed their love of the continent.

Will they get an answer about leaving and if so, when? 

They will get an answer, but it is not known when and what the answer will be. Their request is somewhat unprecedented, so how the queen will come down on it is not known.

What is social media saying about it? 

Here are a few tweets aimed at the Meghxit:

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