Prince Harry and Meghan: Queen Elizabeth Issues Statement After Family Summit
Queen Elizabeth II has agreed a “period of transition” in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will spend time in Canada and the UK.
The Queen said she was “entirely supportive” of their desire for a new role but “would have preferred” them to remain full-time working royals.
She expected final decisions to be made in the coming days, she said.
Senior royals have been in talks about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s role after they said they wanted to “step back”.
In a statement, Queen Elizabeth said the talks at Sandringham, which also involved the Prince Charles Wales and Prince William, had been “very constructive”.
She said: “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.
“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Will Step Back as Senior Royals and Work to Become Financially Independent
The Queen said it had been agreed there would be “a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK” after Harry and Meghan “made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives”.
She said: “These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
The urgent talks were convened after the Sussexes surprised the rest of the Royal Family on January 8 with a statement expressing their desire to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family”.
Prince Harry and Meghan also said they wanted a “progressive new role” within the institution, where they would be financially independent and divide their time between the UK and North America.
Meanwhile, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau told Global News there had been “no discussions” about the details of the royal couple’s move, including on the issues of security and any potential impact on Canada’s taxpayers.
Although no other family member was consulted about the timing of the announcement, Prince Harry and Meghan said it came after “many months of reflection and internal discussions”.
Both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex spoke of the difficulties of royal life and media attention in recent months, with the duke saying he feared his wife would fall victim to “the same powerful forces” that led to his mother’s death.
The talks about their future took place as Prince Harry and Prince William issued a joint statement denying “false claims” that their relationship had been damaged by “bullying” on the part of the older brother.
They said that the “inflammatory language” in the claims was “offensive” and “potentially harmful”, given their support for mental health causes.