The shrinking monarchy: New ground for United Kingdom as Harry, Meghan step back

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Enlarge Image Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Getty Images

The Queen showed no signs of the recent turmoil that's dominated headlines, greeting the vicar with a beaming smile at St Mary the Virgin at Hillington near Her Majesty's Sandringham estate. Not only did he call her an "embarassment", but he also said she was cheapening the royal family.

In the days after Andrew's Newsnight grilling - where he was accused of shrugging off sex offender Epstein's crimes as "unbecoming" - he was spotted from afar horseriding with the Queen at Windsor.

It was the first time Her Majesty has been seen alongside her son since he was forced to retire from royal duties in the wake of an interview about his links with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York attend church.

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Berthelsen says the latest interview from Meghan's estranged father is yet another example of what drove the couple to leave their post. His father Prince Charles and brother Prince William have also been silent.

Under a new deal, they will also no longer receive public funds for their work and will repay £2.4m of taxpayers' money spent renovating Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their United Kingdom home.

Harry, right, and Meghan will stop using their Royal Highness titles and will lose all access to public funds when they stop carrying out official functions.

On Saturday, the Queen finally provided a conclusion to the public on her grandson and his wife's unprecedented decision to step down as senior royals. "I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life", the statement said. "I'm sad, but it's his decision at the end of the day and obviously the Queen has sorted it all out".

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The royal bombshell announcement by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry has now been taken a step further.

A source told People magazine that the arrangement made between Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the rest of the royal family allowing the Sussexes to "step back" from their royal duties will be revisited in a year.

"It's disappointing because she actually got every girl's dream, every young girl wanted to become a princess and she got that", Markle said, speaking in Mexico for a British television documentary. "They are destroying it, they're cheapening it, they're making it shabby". They are turning it into a Walmart with a crown of it now. "They shouldn't be doing this".

The British tabloids have been scathing, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the United Kingdom wishes them well. "I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family, she wrote. It's kind of embarrassing to me".

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