U.K. Police Face Backlash Over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Tweet Offering Royal Couple Job After 'Megxit'

A police force in the U.K. faced a social media backlash after it posted a tweet suggesting Prince Harry and Meghan Markle should apply for jobs as police officers.

Surrey Police took to Twitter a day after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they intended to take a "step back" from their roles as senior members of the Royal Family.

In a bombshell statement posted on Instagram on Wednesday, the couple also said they intend to work to become financially independent and split their time between the U.K. and North America while "continuing to fully support" the Queen.

"Dear #HarryAndMeghan, We hear you are looking for a new role where your strong beliefs in public service, and serving the @Queen_UK could be an asset?" Surrey Police wrote on Twitter the next day.

"We're close to Windsor, and Sussex, and we are recruiting...," it added alongside a link to the the police force's website advertising current vacancies.

The tweet ended with emojis of a prince and princess and an arrow pointing towards emojis of a male and female police officer and the hashtag "Megxit."

The post has been liked more than 4,000 times since, but it also led to a backlash from Twitter users who called it "offensive."

Among the critics was Chris Greany, a former commander of London's Metropolitan Police, who wrote: "I'm not sure this tweet is very tasteful folks..."

Jason Davis wrote: "Whoever is using @SurreyPolice login and posted this should be removed from post and sacked. Very distasteful and not at all the kind of tweets the public expect regarding the royal family."

Another Twitter user added: "This is very ill-advised given that every warranted officer attests to serve the Queen and to respect everyone equally. Massive insult to the Queen and the rest of the royal family with this tabloid inspired tweet."

Another added: "Offensive you are here to uphold the law not make sly political statements."

In a statement to Newsweek, Surrey Police defended the tweet saying it had helped raise awareness about jobs available at the force.

"We used one of the biggest news stories of the day to get across our recruitment message in a very competitive market," a spokesperson said.

"While it might not have been to everyone's taste, to date it has resulted in more than 600 visits to the recruitment pages of our website. We always aim to be innovative on our social media channels and take on board any comments both positive and negative."

Harry is set to meet with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William at the monarch's Sandringham estate in Norfolk, U.K. on Monday to discuss his family's future. Meghan, who is in Canada with their eight-month-old son Archie, is expected to join the conversation by phone, the BBC reported.

Dubbed the "Sandringham summit," the talks will be the first time Harry will face the monarch since he and Meghan issued their statement, according to the broadcaster.

"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 couple said in their statement.

"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 led to Buckingham Palace issuing a response saying the couple's decision to step back from the royal family will be "complicated."

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

This article has been updated with a statement from Surrey Police.

harry meghan
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leave Canada House on January 7, 2020 in London, England. Samir Hussein/WireImage