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Despite the threat of war between the U.S. and Iran and the lingering torture of Brexit, Britain woke up on Thursday trying to digest the bombshell news of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s shocking decision to “step back” from the royal family and split their time between the U.K. and North America.
The British headlines ranged from “Megxit” and “Battle Royale” to “Palace Split,” with many also featuring stories about Queen Elizabeth II’s reaction to the couple’s decision, which was described as disappointment by some and “fury” by others.
Tabloid The Sun, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, led its home page on Thursday with a story entitled “Battle Royale. Queen ‘deeply upset’ at Harry & Megs’ royal exit sparking palace ‘civil war.'” It also featured several other items, including one with the headline “Megxit Bombshell. Queen, Charles & William ‘only found out on TV’ as Harry and Meghan quit.”
News Corp’s The Times, meanwhile, titled: “Harry and Meghan quit roles amid Palace split.” The Telegraph’s home page coverage similarly proclaimed: “Harry and Meghan Quit the Firm. Royal family ‘deeply disappointed’ as Duke and Duchess step back from public roles without consulting Queen.”
The Daily Mail‘s website pegged the Queen’s reaction as stronger in its headline: “The Queen’s fury as Harry and Meghan quit.” The site also featured a column from ITV morning show host Piers Morgan, who in a tweet promoted his post by saying it was “about Harry & Meghan – the two most spoiled brats in royal history.”
The Guardian played the story straight, headlining: “Prince Harry and Meghan/Couple say they are stepping back from royal family. Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they intend to ‘work to become financially independent’.”
The paper’s media section also featured a story entitled “Prince Harry and Meghan to restrict media access in snub to tabloids.” It highlighted a part of the couple’s announcement late Wednesday in which it said it has decided to bypass the traditional royal “rota system,” which allows access to royal engagements to accredited journalists of U.K. newspapers on a sharing pool basis, and instead focus on social media, “credible outlets” and younger journalists.
Away from the media, it was reported later on Thursday that staff at London’s famed Madame Tussauds waxworks museum had responded to the news in their own way, moving the models of Harry and Meghan away from those of the rest of the royal family.
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