Lawyers say there have also been attempts to photograph inside the couple’s
home using long-range lenses and they accuse the paparazzi of being camped
outside the property.
Under laws in British Columbia, Meghan Markle may have grounds for a legal
case if she can prove her privacy has been violated, although freedom of the
press and expression is guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and
This comes after Queen Elizabeth II agreed to Prince Harry and Meghan’s wish
to step back from being full-time royals, to become financially independent and
to split their time between the UK and Canada.
On January 20, Meghan Markle was pictured carrying the couple’s
eight-month-old son Archie in a baby sling, while walking her two dogs, Guy and
Oz, in Horth Hill Regional Park on Vancouver Island.
Prince Harry arrived back in Canada on January 21 after attending the
UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20.
The Duke of Sussex had been apart from Meghan and their son for more than 10
days, after she flew back to Canada earlier this month.
On January 18, it was announced that from the spring, Prince Harry and his
wife will no longer be full-time working royals.
They will stop using their HRH titles, no longer carry out royal duties or
military appointments and no longer formally represent the Queen.
Prince Harry has long had an uneasy relationship with the media, having
grown up aware of the impact the intense media interest had on the life of his
late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car crash in Paris while
being pursued by paparazzi on motorbikes.
He has often compared Meghan’s experiences of the press with those of his late mother.
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
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
She said: “My family and I are
entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a
“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.”
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
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
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
They said that the “inflammatory language” in the claims was “offensive” and “potentially harmful”, given their support for mental health causes.
The meeting at the Queen’s estate in Norfolk – being described as the
‘Sandringham summit’ – will be the first time the monarch has come face-to-face
with Prince Harry since the Sussexes’ announcement, which was posted on their
official Instagram account.
The Royal Family was said to be “hurt” at the couple’s statement.
It is understood the Queen was not consulted in advance of their decision.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, William and Harry are expected to review
a range of possibilities for the Sussexes, taking into account plans outlined
by the couple.
If a deal is agreed in the coming days, there is a general understanding
that it will take some time to implement.
Prince Charles is currently in Oman, after travelling overnight to attend the first of three days of official condolences following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.
Thomas Markle became embroiled in controversy at the weekend, following reports that he staged paparazzi photographs of himself in the run-up to the wedding.
The pictures showed Thomas Markle – apparently unaware he was being photographed – in a series of wedding-related activities, including being measured for a wedding suit.
Samantha Markle, who has not spoken to her famous sibling in three years – and will not be attending the wedding – told Good Morning Britain the photographs had been done with “good intention” and not for money.
She previously admitted the pictures had been her idea, in order to portray a positive image.
On May 14, Thomas Markle reportedly told TMZ that he would not attend the wedding.
TMZ later reported that Meghan Markle’s father had and wanted to attend – although he might not be able to because of health concerns.
In a third report, TMZ said that the health issues and planned surgery would prevent him from attending after all.
Thomas Markle had been due to meet Prince Harry for the first time this week, as well as Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, before walking his daughter down the aisle at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Prince Harry’s future wife, Meghan Markle, will not be known as Princess Meghan when she ties the knot with him in May 2018.
By the standards of British royal protocol, the American actress lacks “royal blood”.
That means that she cannot call herself Princess Meghan.
The arcane rules mean that Meghan Markle will be compelled to follow the example of her future sister-in-law, Kate Middleton.
When Kate Middleton married Prince William in 2011, she automatically became Her Royal Highness, Princess William of Wales. The overwhelming likelihood is that Meghan Markle will in turn become HRH Princess Harry of Wales.
Kate Middleton was not of royal blood, and what applies to her will also apply in the case of Meghan Markle.
Royal blood meant that Queen Elizabeth’s late sister Margaret was entitled to call herself Princess Margaret. Likewise the Queen’s daughter is Princess Anne and her granddaughters are Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
Royal blood made them princesses in their own right.
Sarah Ferguson was never Princess Sarah and Sophie Rhys-Jones – the wife of Prince Edward – is not Princess Sophie.
The rules also meant that Lady Diana Spencer was never officially Princess Diana. She was the Princess of Wales and, after her divorce from Prince Charles, she was Diana, Princess of Wales.
From the point of view of Buckingham Palace, handy titles or “handles” are required for the members of the family who occupy prestigious but somewhat peripheral roles to the main business of monarchy.
Queen Elizabeth’s first cousins are, respectively, the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent, and when her disgraced uncle abandoned the throne to marry an American divorcee in 1936, he became the Duke of Windsor.
Such ducal titles are frequently bestowed upon marriage precisely because they give the new entrant to the family a grand-sounding title without making them princesses or princes in their own right.
In 1986, when Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, the Queen made him Duke of York, thus she became the Duchess of York – a title she continues to hold despite her divorce.
Similarly, when Prince Edward married Sophie Rhys-Jones, he became the Earl of Wessex and his new wife the Countess of Wessex.
It could be that the Queen makes the same kind of move in the cases of Kate and Meghan, and dusts off a long-defunct royal dukedom – Sussex (the favorite for Harry and Meghan), Albany and Clarence are among the vacant ones.
However, as with many things connected to British royal protocol, there is always an exception to the rule – Queen Elizabeth’s husband Philip married into the royal family, and yet he is a prince.
When Philip married the then Princess Elizabeth in 1947, the then British King, George VI, created him “Duke of Edinburgh”.
He only became Prince Philip in February 1957 when the Queen “accorded him the style and title of a Prince of the United Kingdom”.
The Queen could also make both Kate and Meghan princesses in their own right – but such are the rigid traditions surrounding this issue that Britain’s first Princess Meghan is likely to be some time away.
Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle will marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in May 2018, Kensington Palace has announced.
The Royal Family will pay for the wedding, including the service, music, flowers and reception – the date will be announced later.
Meghan Markle, 36, a Protestant, will be baptized into the Church of England and confirmed before the wedding.
A spokesman for Prince Harry said the pair would make sure the wedding “reflects who they are as a couple”.
Jason Knauf said Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were “leading the planning process for all aspects of the wedding” and were working through ideas on how members of the public could “feel part of the celebrations”.
“This wedding, like all weddings, will be a moment of fun and joy that will reflect the characters of the bride and groom,” he added.
Asked by a reporter when he knew Meghan Markle “was the one”, Prince Harry said: “The very first time we met.”
Kensington Palace said Meghan Markle’s engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry and features two diamonds which belonged to his late mother Princess Diana.
At the center of the ring is a diamond from Botswana, a country the couple has spent time together over the last year and a half. The band is made from gold.
Prince Harry, 33, and Meghan Markle, 36, made their first public appearance as a couple in September at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, a sporting event set up by the prince for injured, wounded and sick soldiers.
Their married home will be Prince Harry’s current residence, Nottingham Cottage, on the grounds of Kensington Palace – where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with Prince George and Princess Charlotte, also have an apartment.
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