The royal family may still be sorting out its own reaction to the stunning announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be “stepping back” from their official royal responsibilities. But one institution has responded swiftly and decisively to the news: Madame Tussauds.
No less than 24 hours after the couple’s decision was made public via a lengthy Instagram post, the wax museum in New York and London has removed their figures from the displays dedicated to the royal family.
The statues previously stood alongside wax depictions of Queen Elizabeth Il; Princes Philip, Charles, and William; and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
“From today, Meghan and Harry’s figures will no longer appear in our Royal Family set. As two of our most popular and well-loved figures they will of course remain an important feature at Madame Tussauds London as we watch to see what the next chapter holds for the them,” the general manager at Madame Tussauds in London, said in a statement first reported by CNN.
In New York, the statues will moved to the “A-Listers” room, which features likenesses of Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, RuPaul, and Anne Hathaway, among others. The figures of the Duke and Duchess first debuted in New York in May 2018, just days before they married.
The couple has stated their desire to split their time between the UK and the Americas—news that has pleased the wax museum, which seems to be under the impression that the only thing separating them from spending lots of time with Harry and Meghan was the Atlantic Ocean. “We look forward to spending more time with the couple in North America and we will continue to watch to see what the next chapter holds for them,” a spokesperson from Madame Tussauds New York said in a statement issued to Artnet News.
Speculation is already growing that Canada could become the couple’s new part-time residence, in light of Markle’s previous home in Toronto and their visit, earlier this week, to Canada House in London, where they thanked Canadian emissaries for their hospitality during a recent visit to the country, according to Reuters.
The announcement, which has been dubbed “Megxit” by the Daily Mirror, has sent royal-watchers scrambling to make sense of the couple’s decision. Much of the blame has been placed on their poisoned relationship with the British tabloid press, which has attacked the Duke and Duchess for their insistence on privacy and has thrown racial epithets at Markle.
Late last year, Prince Harry went so far as to blame the media for the death of his mother, Princess Diana, openly worrying that a similar fate could befall his wife.
“My deepest fear is history repeating itself,” he wrote in a statement in October. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.”
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