Harry and Meghan will step back from royal duties in Spring 2020. Here's how the entire 'Megxit' saga unfolded.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are letting go of their official royal duties and moving toward financial independence, Buckingham Palace announced Saturday.
The couple has put their own spin on several of the royal traditions that govern marriage and official duty, and the formal split is a step towards the modern royal family they have previously spoken about.
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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will step back from official royal duties in Spring 2020, according to a statement released by Buckingham Palace on Saturday.
The couple has long sparked rumors of a breakaway from the royal family, as they've been careful about the traditions they chose to include in their marriage and the birth of their first child.
Now that the rumors of a formal split in duties are official, here are the events leading up to the couple's move towards a more modern royal family.
Here's how it all unfolded:May 2018: Markle and Prince Harry were an untraditional royal couple from the start.
The couple's official portrait from their May 19, 2018, wedding was a seated, candid photo that stuck out in comparison to more formal standing portraits, like the one released for Prince William and Katherine Middleton.
October 2018: It was revealed Markle was pregnant, and the couple decided to settle down outside of London.
Instead of living in Apartment 1 in Kensington Palace with the rest of the royal family, the couple headed for the royal Frogmore Estate, which sits in Windsor.
Just over 20 miles from Kensington Palace, the house was fully refurbished for the couple to make the move a few weeks before the royal baby was due to arrive.
May 2019: The couple took one major step towards modernizing their new royal family after the birth of their first child.
Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor's birth on May 6, 2019, was surrounded by unconventional privacy.
The couple broke from tradition by skipping the post-birth photocall on the hospital steps for a private photocall in Windsor Castle a few days later, Insider's Mikhaila Friel previously reported, in addition to their decision to keep specific details of Archie's birth, his christening service, and godparents private from the public.
After he was born, the royal baby was also not given a courtesy title.
"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted their son to be as normal as possible to begin with, hence no use of the title Earl of Dumbarton," royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said at the time.
Throughout 2019, persistent rumors surfaced that the couple was eyeing a move outside of the UK, possibly to one of Markle's past residences: Los Angeles or Canada.
Moving rumors were persistent throughout the year, and further questions surfaced after an emotional ITV News documentary that followed the couple on their tour of southern Africa aired on October 23, 2019.
In a particularly moving segment, a tearful Meghan discussed the heavy emotional toll that the intense media attention took on her as a new wife, royal, and mother.
Meghan told reporter Tom Bradby that she was surprised by the harsh, and often false, reports that came out about her.
"The biggest thing that I know is that I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair," Meghan said in the documentary.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1186033784292106240?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Perhaps the key moment in my interview with Meghan tonight. pic.twitter.com/grIsq7f5QX
A few weeks after the documentary premiered, Harry issued a formal statement that condemned the press's coverage, which has resulted in disturbing harassment since they had publicly become a couple. The statement slammed publications seeking bribes for negative stories, and the coverage's overall "racial undertones."
October 2019: The couple announced they were taking a six-week break from royal duties beginning in November and would spend Christmas away from the rest of the royal family.
The couple stayed in a $13.26 million mansion on Vancouver Island off the west coast of Canada and spent time with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.
The stay made headlines as it was only the second time Harry had missed family Christmas at the Queen's Sandringham Estate.
January 8: The couple announced they wanted to take a "progressive new role" within the British monarchy, including achieving financial independence.
Shortly after their return from vacation, the couple announced that they were working to become "financially independent" and will be taking a "step back" from the royal family.
The couple wrote in a statement posted on Instagram that they will continue "to fully support Her Majesty The Queen," but will no longer receive money from the country's "sovereign grant" and can pursue outside professional opportunities.
The statement also said the couple planned to split their time between North America and the UK, but did not specify further.
January 9: Markle returned to Canada with baby Archie as the couple's next steps remained unclear.
Amid the critical attention the couple sparked with their surprise statement, Meghan reportedly returned to Canada's west coast on a £134 budget flight.
January 13: The Queen said in a statement that she was "entirely supportive" of the couple's decision to split their time between the UK and Canada.
In a rare statement, the Queen expressed full support for the young family after a closely watched summit of the royal family had reportedly taken place at her Sandringham Estate.
"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family," she said in the statement.
"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family," she wrote." 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."
"Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives," she said.
January 18: It is officially announced that the couple will step back as senior royals in Spring 2020.
A statement published by Buckingham Palace on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II said that "many months of conversations and more recent discussions" had resulted in "a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family."
"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life," the Queen's statement continued.
"I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family," the statement read. "It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."
Buckingham Palace said in a second statement that Harry and Meghan will "will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations" on behalf of the Queen, but will no longer use their HRH titles.
The statement also specified that they will pay back the government money that was spent on renovating "Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home."
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