The Sun front page 09/01/20
Image caption There’s only one story in town on Thursday’s front pages: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announcing they will step back as “senior” royals and work to become financially independent. “Megxit”, the Sun declares it, as the paper says the announcement left Harry’s father, Prince Charles, and his brother, Prince William, “incandescent with rage”.
The Daily Telegraph front page 09/01/20
Image caption “Harry and Meghan quit the Firm,” reads the front page of the Daily Telegraph. It says the “extraordinary” and “unprecedented” statement left the Queen and royal aides “blindsided” as they had only very recently been made aware of the Sussexes’ intentions.
The Times front page 09/01/20
Image caption The Times says the Queen was understood to be very disappointed that the couple rushed to put out the “personal message”. The paper says it is the second blow to the Royal Family in as many months after the Duke of York stepped down from his public role after a “disastrous” Newsnight interview over his links with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Metro front page 09/01/20
Image caption The Metro says the move follows “mounting speculation about the couple, including fears for their mental health and claims of a rift between Harry and Prince William”.
The Guardian front page 09/01/20
Image caption The Guardian says the announcement from the couple comes after “a period marked by open hostilities with the media over claimed intrusion and bullying.”
The Daily Mail front page 09/01/20
Image caption “Queen’s fury as Harry and Meghan say: We quit,” is the headline on the front page of the Daily Mail in its “bombshell special issue”.
The Daily Mirror front page 09/01/20
Image caption “They didn’t even tell the Queen,” says the Daily Mirror. It reports that Buckingham Palace only discovered Harry and Meghan’s plans when the couple released their statement.
The i front page 09/01/20
Image caption “Prince quits,” says the i newspaper. It says the monarchy is facing the most “turbulent time” since the 1936 abdication of Edward VIII.
The Daily Express front page 09/01/20
Image caption The Daily Express says the Queen was left “dismayed” by the “shock announcement.”
The Daily Star front page 09/01/20
Image caption Departing from the rest of the front pages, the Daily Star leads on a “crustie crusade”. It reports that swapping meat for “pond scum” could help protect the environment, according to scientists.
Financial Times front page 09/01/20
Image caption The royals make the second story in the Financial Times but the paper’s top story is the confrontation between the US and Iran. “Trump steps back from brink with measured reaction to Iran strikes,” its headline reads, as it reports the US President signalled he would not respond militarily to Iran’s attack on American forces in Iraq.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are the main story for most of the papers, with their photograph on almost all the front pages.

“Harry and Meghan quit the firm” is the Daily Telegraph’s take.

According to the Times, the couple’s “personal message” has opened a rift with the rest of the Royal Family.

“They didn’t even tell the Queen”, complains the Daily Mirror, which accuses Prince Harry of petulance and selfishness.

The Sun headlines its story “Megxit”. It says the couple have triggered a “civil war”, leaving the Queen “deeply upset” and Prince Charles and Prince William “incandescent with rage”.

Image copyright Getty Images

The Daily Mail has brought out what it calls a “royal bombshell special issue”, with coverage stretching to page 17.

It calls the couple “the rogue royals” and says they’ve “pressed the nuclear button”.

Unnamed royal sources put the knife in, telling the Mail that Harry and Meghan are “awkward and childish”, have treated the Queen “shoddily” and acted with a “staggering” level of deceit.

The Financial Times is more restrained but even it puts the story on the front page – with a headline focusing on the couple’s desire for “financial independence”.

The announcement has also made headlines on the other side of the Atlantic, where the Sussexes plan to spend more time.

For the Washington Post, it’s a “bold and remarkable” move, signalling that two of the younger, more popular royals may be fed up with what it calls “an anachronistic, cosseted life of endless ribbon-cutting and fusty, scripted engagements – and the scrutiny that comes with all of that”.

According to the Financial Times, Donald Trump has stepped back from the brink with a measured reaction to Iran’s missile strikes against US forces in Iraq.

Image copyright EPA

The Guardian says that European leaders “breathed a sigh of relief” after the President heeded their public and private pleas to draw a line under the conflict.

In the Times cartoon, entitled “Special Relationship”, Donald Trump is riding through the desert on a camel while Boris Johnson walks behind with a dustpan and brush, clearing up.

The Telegraph says Iran is facing mounting pressure to explain the crash of a Ukrainian airliner near Tehran, hours after the missile launches.

The Daily Star wonders if it was shot down. The Iranians say not, and Western intelligence agencies apparently agree.

The Times says video footage showing flames streaming from a wing, and photographs of the wreckage on the ground, are consistent with an uncontained engine failure. But it says none of the tell-tale traces of a missile strike is visible in the photos.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The remains of one of the plane’s engines was among the debris

Finally, the government’s new Town of the Year competition has – in the Guardian’s words – “backfired spectacularly” after officials failed to realise that the place chosen for the launch, Wolverhampton, has been a city for almost 20 years.

Local civic leaders, it says, expressed incredulity when the communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced he was kicking off a countrywide tour of towns in their city.

According to the paper, the gaffe will be particularly embarrassing for Mr Jenrick, who was born and educated in Wolverhampton.

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