LONDON – Many questions remain after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell announcement that they would be stepping down as “senior” members of the royal family.
Meghan Markle has already returned to Canada after briefly returning to the United Kingdom “to attend some meetings,” a source told news outlets in the UK.
Meghan and Prince Harry spent two months in Canada over the holidays with their son, Archie, and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland.
Now many are speculating on what the royals’ next move will be as Queen Elizabeth II reportedly held crisis calls Thursday involving Harry, along with his brother, Prince William and their father, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.
The queen is said to have also instructed her royal aides to find a “workable solution” for the couple’s future within the monarchy as soon as possible.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the couple said they plan to “work to become financially independent” as they “carve out a progressive new role” within the monarchy.
The future of their finances has been a hot topic since their announcement and whether the couple will be able to be 100 percent financially independent due to issues like security and just how involved they will be in future royal duties.
The couple has stated on their website that they will no longer receive an income from The Sovereign Grant, which is paid annually by the government to fund the monarch’s official duties.
“While the contribution from The Sovereign Grant covers just five percent of costs for The Duke and Duchess and is specifically used for their official office expense, Their Royal Highnesses prefer to release this financial tie,” their website states.
The majority of the couple’s income comes from Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall, which the Telegraph reported totals around £2.3 million a year.
The couple has not said whether they plan to no longer accept that money as well and stated on their website that they intend to keep Frogmore Cottage, which was gifted to them by the queen after their royal wedding in May 2018, as their official residence in the UK.
“Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to use Frogmore Cottage -- with the permission of Her Majesty The Queen -- as their official residence as they continue to support the Monarchy, and so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom,” their website states.
According to various news outlets in the UK, the couple may now face paying rent for their home.
Some have also called on the couple to pay back the £2.3 million of taxpayers’ money that was used to renovate the Windsor home.
Regardless, the couple’s website states that they “value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing.” Many believe the couple will turn to things like speaking engagements and possibly acting again for Meghan to earn an income.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also trademarked their “Sussex Royal” brand for more than 100 items last summer, records show.
Page Six reported the trademarks cover a wide range of products, including clothing, stationery, photographs, educational and charitable endeavors -- and even possibly their own newspaper or magazine.”