"They can do what they want, it's a free country" London residents react to Meghan and Harry leaving

Londoners generally expressed support for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan on Saturday (January 18) following the news that they will no longer be working members of Britain's monarchy.

Buckingham Palace said on Saturday the couple would pay their own way in life and no longer use their "Royal Highness" titles as they embark on an independent future. The palace's announcement sought to end the turmoil in the monarchy sparked earlier this month when the couple announced they wanted to reduce their official duties and spend more time in North America.

"I feel like they're better off there," London resident Shanice said. She and another passer-by branded the treatment of Meghan in the UK as "racism".

For others, the announcement was less positive. "It's not the best PR for the royal family, especially Meghan," London resident Max said. "I think they'll come out on the losing end of the deal but whatever makes them happy," said Wes Smith, a tourist from Texas.

Harry will remain a prince and the couple will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they begin a new life split between North America and Britain, but they will not take part in any future ceremonial events or royal tours.