“In 2020 Harry and Meghan will be changing how they work with the media, to ensure diverse and open access to their work,” royal reporter Omid Scobie tweeted on Wednesday, January 8. The journalist noted that the shift will occur “over the months ahead, through a phased approach.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will “engage with grassroots media organisations and young, up-and-coming journalists; invite specialist media to specific events/engagements to give greater access to their cause-driven activities, widening the spectrum of news coverage; provide access to credible media outlets focused on objective news reporting to cover key moments and events; continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communications channels; no longer participate in the Royal Rota system.”
The Royal Rota is a pool in which local, regional and national media outlets register for opportunities to cover royal engagements.
The news broke shortly after Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, announced via Instagram that they intend to retreat from the royal family 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,” their statement read. “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 couple went on to confirm an upcoming move. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
Meghan and Harry, who tied the knot in May 2018 and are parents of 8-month-old son Archie, further vowed to “continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties.”
The change follows a hectic year for the pair. Harry and Meghan opened up about media scrutiny in October 2018 and later skipped Christmas with the royal family in favor of spending time with Archie and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, in Canada.