KEY POINTS

  • The heirs to the throne's photo was reportedly the final straw for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that their stepping back from their roles
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision was inspired by their son, Archie 

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have reportedly been planning on stepping back from their roles as senior royals for quite some time.

However, there was one last straw that triggered the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to finally make an announcement.

Over the holidays, the royal family released an adorable photo of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George. The snap was seemingly what encouraged Prince Harry and Markle to finally step back from their important roles.

“That picture was the clearest indication that Harry and Meghan are not considered part of the future of the institution. From that point of view, from that moment on, there was no point hanging around,” a source told The Sun.

Prior to the photo’s release, the royal family also unveiled an adorable video of the Queen with the heirs to the throne making Christmas pudding. The short was also the first time that Prince George was featured hanging out with the older members of the royal family.

And on Christmas Day, Prince George and Princess Charlotte also made their debut at the annual church service with the royal family.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Sussex’s friend, JJ Chalmers, defended his and Markle’s decision to step down from their royal duties. He told the “One Show” (via People) that it was for Archie, who Prince Harry and Markle wanted to protect.

“He’s less the captain in the army I knew, and he’s more a father that’s the first thing I ask him about. And I think the decision that he has made, at the forefront of that is to protect his family because that’s the number one rule is to be a father and to be a husband,” Chalmers said.

And speaking of 7-month-old Archie, Kate Middleton’s heartbreaking desire for her kids to spend more time with their cousin may fall on deaf ears. After all, Prince Harry and Markle have also decided to live in London and North America.

Harry and Meghan rocked the monarchy on Wednesday with an announcement made without consulting any senior royals from the sovereign downwards Harry and Meghan rocked the monarchy on Wednesday with an announcement made without consulting any senior royals from the sovereign downwards Photo: AFP / Michele Spatari