"We've got to respect their wishes," Madame Tussauds London said in a cheeky tweet

By Stephanie Petit
January 09, 2020 03:17 PM
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Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will have to find a new home — at least inside Madame Tussauds London.

The famous wax museum has removed their lifelike replications of the couple from the royals display in the wake of the news they were “stepping back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family.’ They tweeted a photo of the Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, Kate Middleton and Prince William statues with an empty spot where Meghan and Harry’s doppelgängers previously stood.

The museum added the cheeky comment, “We’ve got to respect their wishes #Megxit,” with a shrug emoji.

“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,” general manager Steve Davies said. “From today Meghan and Harry’s figures will no longer appear in our Royal Family set. As two of our most popular and well-loved figures they will of course remain an important feature at Madame Tussauds London as we watch to see what the next chapter holds for the them.”

Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty

The collection of wax figures has previously used real world news to make new display arrangements in the past, such as separating the statues of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie following their 2016 split.

Royal family wax figures
| Credit: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty

Madame Tussauds London unveiled their wax figure of Meghan just ahead of her May 2018 wedding to Prince Harry. The Duchess of Sussex’s mannequin models the elegant dark green P.A.R.O.S.H dress she wore when the couple first announced their engagement to the world. In addition, the statue of the Queen’s grandson — a part of their collection since 2014 — was updated to include his ginger beard.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wax figures
| Credit: REX/Shutterstock

Meghan, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, announced Wednesday their plans to “carve out a progressive new role.”

“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 Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Just hours after Harry and Meghan shared their plan, Queen Elizabeth reacted by saying the conversation is still in “early” stages.

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 tell 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 statement on Wednesday.

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

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: PA Images/Sipa

The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William have united to tell their offices to work “at pace” to find a solution to Meghan and Harry’s desire to step away from frontline royal work. They have asked their teams to work with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s office and governments on both sides of the Atlantic on the issue.

“The Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge have directed their teams to work at pace with governments and the Sussexes’s office to find workable solutions and this is expected to take days, not weeks,” a royal source tells PEOPLE.

It’s clear that the monarch, wants to get to a conclusion quickly.

Prince Charles, Camilla, Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton
| Credit: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

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“This has moved from shock and a range of emotions to something more constructive,” the source adds. “It is complicated. This is happening very quickly. And the proof in that is the fact that this will take days and not weeks.”