Harry and Meghan post last message as senior royals | News | DW | 31.03.2020
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Harry and Meghan post last message as senior royals

Britain's Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle have said they are going to take a break from their royal Instagram account. The announcement comes as the couple prepares for life outside the royal inner circle.

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle posted a final "thank you" message to their 11.3 million Instagram followers on Monday as they prepare to end their roles as senior working members of the British royal family.

"While you may not see us here on the Instagram account, the work continues... We look forward to reconnecting with you soon. You've been great!" the couple wrote on their "sussexroyal" Instagram account, signing off informally as Harry and Meghan.

The couple are stepping down as senior members of the British royal family on Tuesday.

"What's most important right now is the health and wellbeing of everyone," they wrote, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. "As we can all feel, the world at this moment seems extraordinarily fragile."

They announced in January that they intended to quit royal life and "work to become financially independent."

They will no longer use the titles his and her royal highness, while the queen and senior officials were said to have ordered them to stop using the word "royal" in their branding.

Harry and Meghan got married in May 2018, and have a 10-month-old son named Archie.

Paying for security

Harry, 35, is reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth's grandson, and is sixth in line to the British throne. Despite stepping down, the couple will continue to be known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their official titles, and Harry remains sixth in line to the throne, with no change in the line of succession.

Since revealing their plans, the couple had been living in a luxury mansion on Canada's Pacific west coast, visiting the UK only briefly this month.

It had been thought they would continue to base themselves in Canada. But the pair are said to have relocated to California by private jet earlier this month before the United States closed its northern border because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Meghan, a 38-year-old former actress, grew up in Los Angeles and her mother, Doria Ragland, still lives there.

US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the couple should pay for their own security detail if they live in the United States, amid unconfirmed reports they are moving their North American base from Canada's Vancouver Island to Los Angeles.

"Now they have left Canada for the US, however, the US will not pay for their security protection. They must pay!" Trump tweeted, adding that he was "a great friend and admirer" of Harry's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Following the president's tweet, the couple's spokeswoman clarified that Harry and Meghan had "no plans to ask the US government for security resources." "Privately-funded security arrangements have been made," she said.

tg/sri (AFP, Reuters)

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