Prince Harry and Meghan to 'step back' as senior UK royals

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CARDIFF, WALES – JANUARY 18: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watch a performance by a Welsh choir in the banqueting hall during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Ben Birchall – WPA Pool / Getty Images)

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LONDON (AP) — In a stunning declaration, Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, said they are planning “to step back” as senior members of the royal family and “work to become financially independent.”

A statement issued by the couple Wednesday evening also said they intend to “balance” their time between the U.K. and North America.

Before marrying Harry in 2018, the Duchess of Sussex was the American actress known as Meghan Markle. The royal couple has a baby son Archie.

“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,” the couple said in a statement. “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.”

Harry, 35, is a grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and is 6th in line to the British throne.

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