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Royal Expert Weighs In On Prince Harry And Meghan Markle's Next Chapter

BOSTON (CBS) – On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a statement announcing that they would be stepping away from their royal duties.

Shannon Spence, former head of politics and communications at the British Consulate General Boston called the move, "Completely historic. Completely unprecedented."

"I think Harry and Meghan have had a very hard time adjusting to the life that they would like to live and the accomplishments they would like to get through in their life in their mission-driven roles within the institution and the rules and regulations that exist with being a member of the monarchy," Spence said. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have even created their own website, Sussex Royal.

The announcement, along with the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle would be dividing their time between the United Kingdom and North America and working toward financial independence, blindsided Buckingham Palace, which responded with surprise, releasing a statement which 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."

That surprise is another history-making first, Spence said. "I've never seen a statement like that from Buckingham Palace."

The couple married in 2018 and had a baby son, Archie, a year later. Markle's transition from American actress to royal was difficult, and the couple has been the target of intense tabloid focus.

"The British press can be relentless," Spence said.

In December, Prince Charles said he would like to "trim down" the monarchy and focus just on direct heirs.

Spence said Meghan and Harry are carving their own roles for what they want to accomplish, and they can't do it within the royal role. "Maybe it's best for all parties to split," she added.

However, local royal expert Kelly Lynch said she doesn't think splitting was the right choice.

"Unfortunately, I don't think that is the right thing to do," Lynch said. "When you're a royal, you're a royal. You can't pick and choose what you do. You are born into this life."


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