Fans across the globe were shocked when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they would be taking a step back as senior members of the royal family. But know there's a theory floating around that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's exit is an April Fool's joke. And man, is it a doozy.
On Feb. 19 — after more than a month of hashing out the details with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William — Prince Harry and Markle revealed more details about their impending departure. This included an official start date for the arrangement they reached with Queen Elizabeth for their new lives — beginning after March 31, People reported. After this point, they will no longer use their royal titles, no longer hold an office at Buckingham Palace, will be financially independent, and will split their time between Canada and the UK. A review will be held 12 months later to revisit the agreement and make adjustments as needed.
A number of royal fans have noted the significance of the start date for these changes: April 1, otherwise known as April Fools' Day. And evidently, there's a theory bouncing around that the whole "Megxit" thing is an elaborate April Fools' joke. "Harry & Meghan’s first day being done with Royal duties is April Fool’s Day. I’ll leave that right there for ya," one Twitter user wrote.
Another person tweeted, "*the very next day* harry and meghan: “april fool’s!” alongside an announcement of their departure date.
I mean, you have to admit — that would be one hell of an April Fools' joke. But it's highly unlikely that Prince Harry and Markle are going to jump out from behind a bush near Buckingham Palace, shouting, "April Fools'! We got you good!" come April 1. That's because the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been incredibly clear about their need to step back — and the toll the media scrutiny has taken on their lives.
It was on Jan. 8 when the duke and duchess announced their intention to step away from their roles within the royal family. "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," they wrote via social media. "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."
On Jan. 19, Prince Harry said during a speech that his little family of three was looking forward to a new beginning together, reported Reuters. "I've accepted this knowing it doesn't change who I am, how committed I am," he said. "But I hope that helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I can hope will be a more peaceful life."
Even before Megxit hit, Markle had opened up about how naive she was about the British tabloids — and just how much they would affect her. "I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought that it would be fair. And that's the part that's really hard to reconcile," she said in October. "When people are saying things that are just untrue, and they're being told they're untrue but they're allowed to still say them, I don't know anybody in the world that would feel like that's okay."
So yeah. Sorry to break your hearts all over again, royal fans who are still in denial, but the chances of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure from the royal family are slim to none. If only...