Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have obviously given much thought to their decision to step back from a role as "senior" members of the Royal Family. Whether they have given it enough thought is doubtful.
Contrary to the interpretation of some reports, they have not renounced or "quit" their public position. That, though, is what they should do if they are not willing to accept the drawbacks as well as the rewards of public life.
But the statement they have posted on their website states they intend to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution (the monarchy)". They hope to become "financially independent while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the Queen".
They plan to divide their time between homes in the United Kingdom and Canada. "This geographic balance", they say, "will enable us to raise our son for an appreciation of 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."
It seems very clear they intend to live as royals when it suits them and assert a right to act independently when they wish. The fact that their announcement has taken Buckingham Palace by surprise shows they have begun as they mean to carry on.
Whether the palace can permit this remains to be seen. Its initial response stated the desire of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to take a different approach raises "complicated issues that will take time to work through".
The young couple is likely to be told the institution can be harmed by what they may choose to do and it can not give them an entirely free hand. More bluntly, they may be told they can choose to remain royal public representatives of the Queen or chart an independent course, but they can not do both.
Harry and Meghan's wedding received wide media coverage to admiring audiences but since their marriage they appear to have become steadily disenchanted by public scrutiny and comment. Meghan has complained about it in public, which royal figures almost never do, and gone so far as to sue a British newspaper for publishing a private letter to her father.
Clearly Meghan has not come to terms with the less pleasant demands of a more exalted and privileged position than celebrity status alone, while Harry is in the unenviable position of all siblings of an heir to the throne. He attracts as much attention as his brother without the same destiny.
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But if Harry and Meghan want more privacy and independence within the royal establishment it can be done. They have only to observe how one of Harry's uncles, Prince Edward, has conducted himself.
Though Edward performs plenty of royal duties he keeps himself, his wife and family out of the limelight and was able to pursue his own interests in film for a while.
If Harry needs any evidence that an errant sibling can damage the monarch it has been provided by his other uncle, Prince Andrew, who now wants to withdraw from public life.
Harry and Meghan have done nothing to suggest their independence would harm the Royal Family but if it is sincerely their wish to honour and support the Queen, they have gone the wrong way about it.