Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex came back from their time off with a big announcement: They’re stepping down from their senior royal roles and plan to split their time between  North America and the United Kingdom.

“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,” the couple said in an announcement Wednesday issued by Buckingham Palace. “We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”

It was stunning news, even for the frequently surprising Sussexes. About an hour later, another palace announcement, sent in an email from the office of the private secretary and the spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth II, landed in media inboxes. It suggested fraught times ahead. 

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