Story at a glance

  • The former “Suits” star and the prince plan to split their time between the U.K. and North America, according to a statement.
  • The couple’s previous travel has been scrutinized for its carbon footprint by British tabloids and media outlets.
  • It is unclear how much the couple will be traveling in their new role, but they say they plan to use environmentally friendly transportation options when possible.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have announced they are stepping back from the Royal Family, after escalating attacks on Markle by British tabloids resulted in a lawsuit

"We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said in a statement on Instagram.

It is unclear what this “step back” will look like, if it happens. A statement from Buckingham palace said they were still in the early stage of discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, saying "these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

But a geographic shift is likely to impact the couple’s travel patterns, which have already been heavily scrutinized by British tabloids and media outlets, especially in relation to their advocacy for environmental responsibility. 

In an Instagram post last June, Prince Harry said, “With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference.”

BBC estimated that the combined carbon emissions for the couple's trips to Nice and Ibiza in August of that year was 19.8 tonnes, or more than three times the annual carbon footprint of the average British person. Sir Elton John, who provided Markle and Prince Harry with his private jet for their trip to Nice, said he made a payment to Carbon Footprint, which invests money in environmental projects, to offset the carbon emissions from the trip. 

On their website, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex clarified how their future travel would be funded and arranged.  

“Wherever possible and unless advised otherwise on security grounds, their logistical arrangements are undertaken via commercial air carriers, local trains and fuel-efficient vehicles, be it for official or personal travel,” it said.

Published on Jan 09, 2020