On Wednesday, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked royal fans by announcing that they would be stepping back from their senior royal roles. As stated in their Instagram post, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to continue supporting Queen Elizabeth II as they transition into this new phase of their lives in 2020.

However, some believe that several of the monarch's actions "triggered" Meghan and Harry, which prompted them to officially step back from the British royal family.

According to the Times (via the Sun), the Duke and Duchess "felt excluded from the recent 'line of succession' photo." In the picture, the Queen could be seen standing beside Prince George, Prince William, and Prince Charles. This, as stated by the publication, was taken by Meghan and Harry as "a signal that they were being excluded from royal life."

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Additionally, Her Majesty opted to remove photos of the Sussexes during her Christmas message. Instead, images of other family members, including Prince Philip, Kate Middleton, and Prince William could be seen in the broadcast. This was in contrast to the previous year when Meghan and Harry's wedding photo and official family portrait could be seen. Reportedly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex also believed that this sent "the same message" as the other photograph.

Subsequently, these "signals" were said to influence their decision to distance themselves from the royal family.

Leading up to the official decision, it was no secret that the Duke and Duchess had faced many difficulties while living in such a public way. Over the course of 2019, not only did Meghan reportedly struggle with privacy, but Prince Harry decided to sue various publications for their alleged illegal behavior.

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth II
Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, and Queen Elizabeth II at the Queen's Young Leaders Awards Ceremony at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2018 in London.  Getty Images/John Stillwell