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In a statement released on their joint Instagram account, the pair wrote: "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."
The statement continued: "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."
This announcement comes after a lengthy period of speculation about the royal couple's future.
It had long been rumoured that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, along with their young son Archie, were planning to move to Canada.
In fact, the pair recently spent a six-week period in a mansion on Vancouver Island during which they enjoyed their first Christmas as a family.
A statement released last December said: "The decision to base themselves in Canada reflects the importance of this commonwealth country to them both,
"The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family.
"They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son."
Sources close to the Royal Family have said that Harry and Meghan will now start to discuss their plans over the next few days, although the official line from Buckingham Palace is that no comment will be made on 'speculation'.
Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne, behind his father Prince Charles, brother Prince William, and William and Kate's three children George, Charlotte, and Louis.
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