_ultraforma_/iStock(LONDON) — Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s announcement Wednesday that they plan to “step back” from their senior royal roles reportedly surprised Britain’s royal family as much it did the rest of the world. The royals — everyone from Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II to his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William — were “blindsided” by Harry and Meghan’s dramatic announcement and were not aware of its content before it was released, according to ABC News royal contributor Victoria Murphy.”They knew the Sussexes wanted to do things differently but discussions were at a very early stage and that’s created a huge sense of disappointment among other royals,” Murphy said Thursday on ABC’s Good Morning America. “Harry and Meghan have essentially put their wish list into the public domain before anything has been sorted out.” Harry and Meghan, the parents of 8-month-old Archie, first shared their bombshell news on Instagram and then debuted a new website, SussexRoyal.com, that was extremely detailed and thorough, especially given the later reports that it caught the royal family off guard. The couple — fresh off an extended family break in Canada — announced they plan to “step back as senior members” of Britain’s royal family. In their new roles moving forward, Harry and Meghan will divide their time between North America and the U.K., work to become “financially independent” and launch a new “charitable entity,” according to their announcement.Shortly after the couple’s Instagram post went live, Buckingham Palace released a statement of its own that gave a glimpse into the turmoil behind the scenes. “Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” Buckingham Palace has not commented further and Kensington Palace, which represents Harry’s brother William and sister-in-law Kate, has not commented at all in response to Harry and Meghan’s move.Harry is reported to have “defied clear instructions” from Queen Elizabeth in making the announcement with Meghan, according to ABC News royal contributor Robert Jobson. “The queen made it clear to her grandson that he should not proceed with any announcement this week about his future after he requested a meeting with her at Sandringham,” Jobson wrote in The Evening Standard, citing senior sources. “The Duke of Sussex’s apparent refusal to comply with an explicit request from the head of the royal family will help to explain the unprecedented expressions of ‘hurt’ and ‘disappointment’ from the palace over last night’s statement.”The decision by Harry and Meghan to seemingly go rogue with such a major move is also being heavily analyzed because it appears to confirm rumors of a rift between the Sussexes and the royals, particularly William and Kate. Harry did not tamp down the rumors when he spoke about William, his only sibling and the heir to the throne, in the documentary Harry and Meghan: An African Journey that aired in October. “Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” Harry said. “But look we’re brothers. We’ll always be brothers.” “We’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me,” he added. “We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly.”William tried to “build bridges with his brother” after the documentary aired but a meeting between the two at Harry’s Frogmore Cottage home never happened, according to Jobson. Now with Harry and Meghan’s very public announcement, the royal family is left to both work out the logistics of what the Sussexes want and try to heal their personal divides much more publicly than they’d like. “What I think it tells you is the Sussexes are already operating entirely separately to the rest of the entire royal family,” Murphy said of the fallout. “They went ahead and released the statement even though they had not consulted with the royal family and that of course is not what the royal family want us to see.” “They want us to see their putting on a united front. They want to sort these things out behind closed doors and then appear with a solution publicly and they don’t want us to know about all the conflicts and all the negotiations that have to go on,” she said. And while it is not unusual for a family to have ups and downs in their relationships, Britain’s royal family combines both work and family and now has to sort through these issues publicly while adhering to tradition and standards of a centuries-old monarchy.”Harry and Meghan sit within this extraordinary gilded cage where the queen has this role to perform and no one can really take her into a political field, into an area where it might seem that financial advantage is being made on the basis of royal titles,” royal commentator Alastair Bruce told GMA. “All those areas are quite sensitive and therefore a route forward will need to be found that sits comfortably with apolitical nature of the queen as head of state of 16 countries.” The 93-year-old queen, who late last year had to lead the family through a Prince Andrew scandal, will be paying close attention to how the British people respond to changes in the monarchy, according to Bruce.”However much the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a very clear idea of what they want to do, it needs to align with what the United Kingdom expects from their monarchy and that’s not just what the queen thinks,” he said. “It’s not what the government thinks. It’s not what Parliament thinks, but it’s what the United Kingdom’s people think and that will be a factor in the planning going forward.” Harry and Meghan dominated media coverage in the U.K. after announcing their split from the royal family, which parts of the press have dubbed “Megxit.”The British press may have played a major role in the decision for Harry and Meghan, according to Murphy. “We do know that a big part of this decision has to do with their relationship with the media,” she said. “They have devoted a whole section to their new website on how they want to reframe their relationship with the media and remove themselves from a system that currently gives the British media preferential access.” “Whether or not they’ll be able to do that, as with everything, remains to be seen,” Murphy said. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.