Many people were surprised by the announcement that Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, would be stepping back from their role as “senior royals.” The announced their intention to develop new roles while splitting their time between the UK and North America. (You can read the text for the full statement below.)
This caught me off guard but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s a fabulous example for my teen daughter. Here are some of the life lessons I hope she takes away from Harry and Meghan’s big announcement.
Chart Your Own Course
There is no royal roadmap for what Harry and Meghan are doing. They are creating what they acknowledge to be “progressive new roles.” I hope that my daughter realizes that there are a lot of paths to happiness.
Just because one way is well-traveled does not mean that it is the best one for you.
Don’t be afraid to try something new, propose a new and/or different way of doing things, think outside the box and venture into new territory.
Prioritize Your Happiness
Not everyone is thrilled about the announcement. After all, this is a big change and it’s something brand new. It’s impossible to please everyone and change is hard, especially when it’s a complete unknown.
You cannot make everyone happy, so make yourself happy.
Happiness doesn’t always come automatically or easily. I hope my girl follows her heart and finds a supportive partner. I hope that together they put in the work and make wise decisions that allow them to find ways to both be happy.
Be Financially Independent
Money matters, and while happiness is very important, finding a way to be happy and financially independent is hugely important.
I’m a bit concerned that Harry and Meghan may not have those details ironed out, and I hope that my teen gives a lot of thought to how to be financially independent before making any huge changes, but still, props to them for acknowledging the monetary aspect and starting the goal of being self-supporting.
Continue Giving Back
The statement that Meghan and Harry issued included mention of their “new charitable entity.” I appreciate that they are devoted to service and in a time of personal upheaval, they are still focused on giving back and making a difference. I hope my daughter is inspired by their commitment to doing good and finds ways that she can have a positive impact on the lives of others.
This reminded me of a favorite Audrey Hepburn quote: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
I appreciated that the statement ended with an expression of thanks for supportive the couple has received. Their focus on gratitude, despite facing an enormous amount of criticism, is laudable.
Saying “thank you” is never a bad way to go (teen sarcasm excepted, of course.)
Even when times are tough, there is always something for which you can be grateful. Finding the good, particularly in the midst of challenging times, is an important practice that can make life better and richer.
The full statement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as shared on the Sussex Royal Instagram account:
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” –
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