Meghan and Prince Harry to ‘step back’ as senior members of the royal family and become ‘financially independent’

This is huge news for the Royal Family.

Meghan and Harry to step down from royal duties

It's been confirmed by the couple in a statement this evening that they will embark on an independent life, with their time split between the UK and Canada.

The couple released the statement on their Instagram page, sussexroyal, which explained that Meghan and Harry are working towards becoming 'financially independent', while still 'continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages'.

The shocking news comes after the couple have just returned from a six-week sabbatical with their son, Archie, in Canada.

MORE:What will happen if Meghan and Harry leave theroyal family?

The statement read, '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.

A photo posted by on

'It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.

'We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.

'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, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.'

Where will Harry and Meghan live in Canada?

It would be no surprise if the couple move to Toronto, where they first enjoyed a secret courtship before their relationship was made official in October 2016. The pair are thought to have been set up by a mutural friend, who met on their first date in a bar in Toronto.

But perhaps Vancouver will be more the couple's speed, after they spent Christmas there as a family of three, at a £10.7million home in Vancouver Island, according to the Daily Mail. During this time they were spotted hiking with friends, enjoying the break with their two dogs by their side.