Harry's and Meghan's wax figures removed from Madame Tussauds London's royal exhibit

The move comes less than 24 hours after the couple announced that they will be taking a "step back" from their senior roles in the royal family.

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By Minyvonne Burke

Madame Tussauds London is giving the royal boot to the wax figures of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, less than 24 hours after the couple announced plans to take a "step back" from their roles as senior members of the British royal family.

The museum said in a statement Thursday that the waxworks of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had been removed from its display to "mirror their progressive new role within the Royal institution."

"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," said Steve Davies, the museum's general manager.

The wax figures of the couple were unveiled in May 2018 ahead of their wedding in Windsor, England. In the display of the royal family, Harry's and Meghan's figures had stood next to those of Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, and of Prince William and his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The empty space after the figures of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, were removed next to those of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds London on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020.Victoria Jones / PA via AP

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Davies said the figures were extremely popular and well-loved among visitors and will "remain an important feature." He did not say where the waxworks would be moved.

Madame Tussauds' New York location is following suit. A spokesperson said in a statement: "Our experiences bring iconic moments to life; to reflect the announcement we will be moving the popular figures to another area in the attraction upon their return to Madame Tussauds New York."

"We look forward to spending more time with the couple in North America and we will continue to watch to see what the next chapter holds for them," the statement continued.

Harry and Meghan shocked the public when they announced their plans Wednesday to "step back as senior members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent," while still supporting the queen.

The couple said in their statement, which was posted on their Instagram account, that they plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.

"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," the couple said.

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Buckingham Palace said in a statement that it was continuing discussions with the couple.

"We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through," the palace said.

Harry and Meghan married in May 2018 and welcomed a son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, in May.