Prince Harry defied the queen with unexpected royal split announcement

Cape Town - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex sent shockwaves internationally following their announcement to step down as "senior" members of the royal family – a decision not even Queen Elizabeth was consulted about.

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, revealed on their official Instagram they’d decided to "carve out a new, progressive role" outside of the royal family, a move which has been described as unprecedented, People reported.

CNN reports there are tensions within the royal family and that Meghan and Harry "completely undermined the rest of the family" and didn't discus the matter with the Queen, Prince Charles, or Prince William before making the announcement on social media. 

According to Robert Lacey, historian and consultant for royal series The Crown, nothing of this degree had ever happened in the royal family before.

"It’s difficult to think of anybody who took such a drastic step," Robert said.

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Queen Elizabeth

(THE FINAL SAY: Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Getty/Gallo Images

THE QUEEN IS DISAPPOINTED

While the monarch has released a statement in which she describes discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as being at an early stage, Daily Mail reported that the queen was "disappointed" at the pair’s decision to call it quits.

According to Express UK, BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond suggested that royal family members were "hurt" by the couple’s decision to withdraw from their senior roles.

This comes in the wake of Prince Andrew’s recent BBC interview where he revealed his friendship with US financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the Guardian reported.

In addition, according to Radar Online Prince Phillip’s health is rapidly deteriorating.

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(Sources: People, Daily Mail, Express UK, Channel24, CNN , Radar Online, Guardian)