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'Megxit', 'Queen's fury': The UK (and US) papers are having a field day over the bombshell royal news

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are quitting royal life.

THE BOMBSHELL NEWS that Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are to effectively quit their royal roles is splashed across every UK newspaper this morning. 

The pair announced at about 6pm last night via their social media channels that they will be living between the UK as North America from here on out and no longer want to be senior royals

All the papers are reporting that Queen Elizabeth was not informed about the decision. Buckingham Palace last night issued a terse statement confirming Harry and Meghan’s “desire to take a different approach”. 

The Daily Mail

The Daily Mail – whose sister publication, the Mail on Sunday, is also being sued by the couple – devoted its first 17 pages to the “astonishing statement” by the “rogue royals”.

PastedImage-75562 Source: Twitter

Veteran columnist AN Wilson termed their exclusion of the queen “an atrocious lapse of judgment”, although he added that the “abdication” would strengthen the institution of the monarchy.

“The truth is that this charming, intelligent, beautiful woman hadn’t a clue what the monarchy really is, or what role minor members of the royal family have to play in public life,” Wilson wrote of Meghan.

“For his part, Harry perhaps didn’t fully understand his own role as a younger son. Both seemed oblivious to the fact that the British monarchy is a delicate constitutional miracle, not a vehicle for its members to press home their views on the subjects that interest them, however noble.” 

The Sun 

The Sun got a jump on everyone when it reported yesterday on its front page that Harry and Meghan were looking for a house in Canada with a view to moving there. 

Today, the paper goes with the popular ‘Megxit’ moniker and report on ‘civil war’ within the royal family.

PastedImage-14404 Source: Twitter

The Mirror

The Daily Mirror, one of three papers facing lawsuits from the couple, fumed in its coverage about “an extraordinary day in the history of the royal family”.

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One comment piece in particular pulled no punches. 

“Harry has selfishly turned his back on the institution she (the Queen) has fought to modernise and secure for him and his children,” Rachael Bletchly wrote.

“And he didn’t even have the guts or decency to tell her, or his own father, of the bombshell he was about to drop in their laps.”

The Daily Express

PastedImage-92516 Source: Twitter

The Daily Express was relatively placid in its editorial, apart from highlighting the lack of family consultation.

Columnist Margaret Holder, however, said the couple have “consistently failed to understand that a tax-paying public expects the royal family to be relevant, relatable and value for money”.

“In trying to hide the place of Archie’s birth and refusing to name his godparents they pushed aside the public in a way not done by any other royals,” Holder wrote. 

The Times

Over in the broadsheets, The Times carries a picture of the couple on its front page and also reports on the split within the royal family about their decision.

The paper’s editorial said the announcement carried all the signs of the “petulance and hot-headedness for which Prince Harry is sadly becoming well-known”.

“This latest outburst appears to have been triggered in part by anger at recent images released by the Palace that signalled a shift to a more slimmed down monarchy,” it said.

PastedImage-68977 Source: Twitter

The Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph has the biggest photo of the couple on its front page and inform us that ‘Harry and Meghan quit the Firm’. 

The paper also has details of some of the future arrangements for the couple, saying they will still have use of their UK residence in Frogmore Cottage in Windsor and “will continue to receive money from the Prince of Wales via the Duchy of Cornwall”. 

PastedImage-25754 Source: Twitter

The Guardian

The Guardian plays it pretty straight but also makes the royal announcement the biggest story on its front page.

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The Financial Times

Even The Financial Times couldn’t resist putting the story further down on its front page, although naturally it had to find the money angle reporting: ‘Royal couple pull out of public eye in search of financial independence’.

PastedImage-71974 Source: Twitter

New York Post

Given the couple have said they are going to go bicontinental by living on both sides of the Atlantic, US papers are also interested. 

The New York Post had some fun with the royal announcement, saying Harry is going to ‘leave for commoner life’ and mocking him up with a few cans.

PastedImage-95387 Source: Twitter

Chicago Tribune

Maybe the smartest reporting of the story comes from the Chicago Tribune who worked hard to find the local angle. 

Markle studied theatre and international studies at a university outside Chicago, promoting the paper to tweet: ‘Northwestern graduate moving closer to home after spending time abroad’.

- With reporting by Press Association   

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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