The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex have said they will “step back” from their roles as senior members of Britain’s Royal Family, to begin a more independent life.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the couple said they would split their time between the UK and US, but would continue to carry out royal duties.
The pair said that their goal was to become "financially independent".
The couple had just come back from a six-week break in Canada with their eight-month old son Archie.
The BBC reported that no other royal - including the Queen and Harry's brother Prince William - was notified about the decision. The broadcaster said senior royals were understood to be "hurt" by the announcement.
In October, Prince Harry and his wife publicly spoke of their struggles in the media spotlight. He revealed that friends tried to warn Meghan not to marry him to avoid the intense media scrutiny.
The surprise statement from the couple 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.
"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.”