By Sydney Riepl, Features Editor
In the beginning of 2020, news spread worldwide that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, would be exiting the royal family to uptake a more secluded, independent life in Canada. While this news was globally surprising, it was not a full shock as the press has been hounding the couple since they announced their engagement. Even so, there is controversy as to whether or not their “exit” is acceptable because they are abandoning influential and prominent social roles in the U.K. and worldwide.
Since marrying Prince Harry in 2018, Markle has used her role as a member of the royal family to influence women’s rights and has teamed up with Prince Harry in the charity Elephants Without Borders in Botswana. While the couple’s intention of leading a more normal life is something that most people can sympathize with, separating from the royal family is drastic and disrespectful to the life Prince Harry and Markle agreed to.
Exiting the royal family means Prince Harry and Markle are giving up their positive influences and becoming less involved in the global community. The couple is simply walking away from a social power that could be used to construct something greater beyond themselves.
For the couple, stepping out of the royal family means stepping into another country to follow living a more normal life. Moving to Canada is causing some resentment in the minds of Canadians as the country will be responsible for the well-being of the exiting couple. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Canadians also don’t want to foot the bill for their security.” Prince Harry and Markle are moving to a country that does not care to keep them safe. Regardless of how independent they are believed to be, they will never be fully isolated from society.
On the announcement of exiting the royal family, according to NBC News, the couple said, “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.” If they could actually be financially independent without the support of the U.K., it would be respectable. As the couple cannot completely separate themselves from the royal family, they are not completely independent. NBC News also wrote, “Since the two recieve money from the Sovereign Grant, a fund set up by the U.K. government for royal family official business, they are barred from earning their own cash,” and thus, while moving to Canada does suffice their need to become independent physically, it does not allow the couple to be financially independent as they would still be inheriting the royal family money without any strings attached.