Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced their intention to "step back as senior members of the Royal Family" on Wednesday

By Gabrielle Chung
January 08, 2020 08:55 PM
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Andy Cohen wants to see Meghan Markle get her diamond.

The Watch What Happens Live host, 51, sent an open invitation to Meghan Markle to join Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on Wednesday after the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry announced their decision to “step back as senior members of the Royal Family.”

Commenting on the announcement posted on the royal couple’s official Instagram account, Cohen — who acts as an executive producer of the Real Housewives franchise — wrote, “Open invite for The Duchess to join #RHOBH !!!”

Bravo also appeared to be open to the idea. Under the Comments by Celebs’ post about Cohen’s exchange, the network’s Instagram account commented, “Meghan Markle tagline suggestion: Beverly Hills is full of diamonds, but I’m the crown jewel.”

Andy Cohen, Meghan Markle
Charles Sykes/Bravo; Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, shared their plans to “carve out a progressive new role” on their joint Instagram account on Wednesday, explaining that they intend to “become financially independent.”

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” the royal couple wrote. “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. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.

“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next 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.”

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Elizabeth has since issued her own statement reacting to the news.

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

While there was some idea of the couple’s desire to take a different route, as discussions have been confirmed to be taking place, insiders told PEOPLE that the 93-year-old monarch and senior members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Prince William, were caught off guard by the release of the couple’s announcement.

“There is a lot of hurt about this,” one royal source told PEOPLE.

RELATED VIDEO: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Relationship with Royal Family Remains Tense After Documentary

The move comes as Meghan and Harry are embroiled in several lawsuits with the U.K. press and acknowledged feeling under strain last fall amid tabloid pressure and ongoing family tensions.

The couple spent the holiday season with their 8-month-old son Archie on Vancouver Island in Canada after announcing their decision to skip Christmas with the Queen and the rest of the royal family.

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“Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, Their Royal Highnesses will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the Duchess’ mother Doria Ragland. This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Tension between Harry and his brother William, 37, has also added to the prince’s feelings of isolation, according to insiders. For Meghan, who has been raising her son in a new country far from her L.A. home, the distance from both of their families has been a strain.