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'No blurred lines': UK reacts to Harry and Meghan's 'retirement'

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 19, 2020 - Duration: 01:59s

'No blurred lines': UK reacts to Harry and Meghan's 'retirement'

One newspaper called it "payback time", but the British public was positive after Buckingham Palace announced on Saturday that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan would no longer be working royals - losing their "Royal Highness" titles and paying back public money spent on the refurbishment of their home.

David Doyle reports.

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'No blurred lines': UK reacts to Harry and Meghan's 'retirement'

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON RESIDENT, SHANICE, SAYING: "They're going to have a lovely life I wish them all the best." Londoners have reacted generally supportively after the announcement that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan will no longer be "working royals".

(SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSER-BY, NAME NOT PROVIDED, SAYING: "She can do what she wants.

Free woman, free country, she has every right to do that." Buckingham Palace said on Saturday (January 18) that the pair would no longer use their "Royal Highness" titles - though they will remain as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - and would pay their way in life.

That follows their impromptu announcement earlier this month that they wanted to reduce their official duties and spend more time in North America.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LONDON RESIDENT, IBRAHIM, SAYING: "They can't be living in Canada and have a royal title and be getting the benefits from the system so they need to choose one or the other." The terms of Harry and Meghan's "retirement", follows discussions between senior royals including the Queen last week.

Royal biographer Penny Junor believes the public will be pleased.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ROYAL BIOGRAPHER, PENNY JUNOR, SAYING: "The fact they are not going to trade on their titles I think will go down very well, the fact they said they wish to pay back the 2.4 million pounds spent on doing up Frogmore Cottage will also go down very well.

The fact they are not going to be doing any royal work is probably the best solution because it makes a very clean break and everyone is clear about what they will be doing and there will be no blurred lines." Harry and Meghan have made it clear that they struggled with immense media attention and on Sunday (January 19) some elements of the press adopted a more negative tone than that on the streets.

The Sun newspaper calling the outcome "payback" while pointing out that the UK taxpayer will continue paying for Harry and Meghan's security.

Also critical was Meghan's father Thomas Markle, who accused his daughter and Prince Harry of "destroying" one of the "greatest long-living institutions ever".

(SOUNDBITE) (English) MEGHAN'S FATHER, THOMAS MARKLE, SAYING: "They are turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it now." Markle has been estranged from his daughter since her marriage to Harry in May 2018.

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