Duke and Duchess of Sussex to focus on charity as they 'step back' from Royal Family

09 Jan 2020 News

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have said they will be focusing on the launch of their new charity, after announcing their plans to “step back” from the Royal Family.

The couple published a statement on Wednesday, saying they would “work to become financially independent” and that this new arrangement would allow them “the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity”.

New charity

In June 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan had announced that they would be leaving The Royal Foundation to create their own charity.

The Royal Foundation was set up in 2009 by Prince William and Prince Harry and works on a range of projects, including the Invictus Games, a sporting event for sick and injured service people, and mental health campaign Heads Together. 

The new Sussex Royal Foundation’s projects are expected to be announced later this year and will include new initiatives on the environment and support for children and families.

Prince Harry’s charitable work has focused on supporting veterans and people serving in the Armed Forces, on sports and conservation, while Meghan has been working on gender equality and international development. In 2015, she became the UN Women's advocate for women’s political participation and leadership.

A 'progressive' new role

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex said: “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 still unclear what exactly this decision will entail, but the couple said they will be now splitting their time between the UK and North America.

“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.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said: “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage.

“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

From spring 2020, the Sussexes will also adopt a new media policy to “to ensure diverse and open access to their work”. This will include engaging with young journalists and specialist media.

In October 2019, Prince Harry published a statement criticising the British tabloid press over its “ruthless” campaign against his wife. Meghan has begun legal action against the Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter she sent to her father.

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