Harry and Meghan wish Kate a happy birthday via Instagram after their decision to step back

Duchess Kate turned 38 Thursday, and her in-laws Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are showing their support – just a day after news broke that they plan to “step back” as senior members of the British royal family.

In the comment section of a birthday post about Kate on the official Kensington Palace Instagram account, the couple shared a reply. 

“Wishing a very happy birthday to The Duchess of Cambridge today!” the comment from their @sussexroyal account read, with a cake and heart emoji.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s birthday wish garnered plenty of attention, quickly becoming the top comment with over 7,550 likes and over 550 replies an hour after it was posted.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you everyone for all your lovely messages on The Duchess of Cambridge’s birthday! Photo ? by @MattPorteous

A post shared by Kensington Palace (@kensingtonroyal) on

Prince Harry and the former Meghan Markle said in a statement issued by Buckingham Palace Wednesday, they are stepping down from their senior royal roles and plan to split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.

“We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen,” the statement read.

About an hour later, another palace announcement, sent in an email from the office of the private secretary and the spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth II, landed in media inboxes.

“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement said. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.” 

Their latest (much smaller) move of commenting on Kate’s Instagram is perhaps a precursor to their plans of becoming more independent, both in communications and finances. 

They announced they will break another longtime tradition and no longer participate in the palace’s “Royal Rota” system of inviting long-standing U.K. outlets to report exclusively on their activities. According to their Sussex Royal website, in 2020, they will “continue to share information directly to the wider public via their official communications channels.”

Their website noted that social media will be an important part of their new media strategy. 

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will continue to have a social media platform. They look forward to continuing their use of social media and believe that their updated media approach will enable them to share more, with you, directly.”

Contributing: Maria Puente

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