On Wednesday evening (London time) the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped a royal bombshell when they announced they were planning to step back as senior royals and become financially independent.
While the news came as a shock to many, for those following the increasingly strained and tumultuous relationship the royal couple, have had with the press, public opinion and royal life over the past year, it may have felt not entirely unexpected.
What was surprising was the statement released by Buckingham Palace shortly after the Sussexes' announcement, which hinted that Harry and Meghan may have jumped the gun when declaring their plans for the future.
"Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," the Palace's brief statement read.
"We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
Inevitably, social media users have had plenty to say, with many voicing support for the Sussexes' decision but just as many condemning the couple for trying to 'have the best of both worlds'.
But the impact of their announcement has also had an immediate effect on perhaps the more unexpected and trivial, with the popular attraction Madame Tussauds in London revealing they have removed their wax figures of Prince Harry and Meghan from their Royal Family collection.
The royal couple previously appeared to the left of the Queen and Prince Philip's wax figures, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the opposite side.
"Alongside the rest of the world we are reacting to the surprising news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be stepping back as senior royals," the general manager of the wax figure museum Steve Davies told the BBC.
"From today Meghan and Harry's figures will no longer appear in our Royal Family set."
However, he said the Sussexes were two of their most popular figures and gave his assurance that they would remain an important feature at Madame Tussauds London.
The museum has not said where the couple will be placed, but Davies said they will "watch to see what the next chapter holds for them."
Just a day after stepping back into the spotlight following a six-week break in Canada, Prince Harry and Meghan made the shocking announcement on Instagram that "after many months of reflection and internal discussion, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution."
The couple revealed they planned to "step back" as senior members of the royal family and become finally independent while continuing to support The Queen.
They also explained they plan to split their time between the UK and North America.
"We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting new 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."
The announcement comes after months of intense media scrutiny, heightened after an ITV documentary on their October tour of Southern Africa aired.
The royal pair made several candid confessions in the doco Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, admitting they've struggled behind the scenes as working members of the royal family.
Meghan, in particular, has found it difficult to adjust to royal life, revealing that her British friends warned her against marrying into the royal family, telling her the British tabloids would destroy her life.
"I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair," she told interviewer Tom Bradby.
"And that's the part that's really hard to reconcile."
She added, "It's not enough to just survive something, right? Like, that's not the point of life. You've got to thrive, you've got to feel happy."
WATCH: Duchess Meghan admits she was naive and that she was warned the tabloids would 'ruin her life'. Story continues below...
Prince Harry also spoke of the pressure he feels as a member of the royal family and, in particular, the media's presence which he said reminds him of "the bad stuff" - referring to the scrutiny his mother Princess Diana was under and ultimately her death in Paris in 1997 after being pursued by paparazzi.
"I think being part of this family, in this role and this job - every time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash – it takes me straight back.
"So in that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best."
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