Queen Elizabeth II has responded to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to “step back” as senior members of the royal family, Fox News has learned on Monday. She also said she has agreed to allow the couple to move part-time to Canada.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the reigning monarch shared in a statement. “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.
MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY HIDING OUT AT CANADIAN BILLIONAIRE FRANK GIUSTRA’S MANSION: REPORT
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” the 93-year-old continued. “It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. 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.”
In this Tuesday, July 10, 2018 file photo Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, and Meghan the Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry watch a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft pass over Buckingham Palace in London. As part of a surprise announcement distancing themselves from the British royal family, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan declared they will “work to become financially independent” _ a move that has not been clearly spelled out and could be fraught with obstacles.
(AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)
The queen says there are still issues to be resolved but she wants it done within days.
PRINCES WILLIAM, HARRY DENY ‘OFFENSIVE’ REPORT THAT BULLYING LED TO MEGHAN AND HARRY’S DRASTIC DECISION
Elizabeth had called for a face-to-face meeting with Harry, 35, and other members of the royal family in order to iron out logistics of his and Markle’s decision to become “financially independent” of the crown.
The meetup marked the first time the queen and her grandson met following the shocking announcement on social media last week. It reflected the queen’s desire to contain the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s decision. A palace insider previously told Fox News some members of the royal family were not informed of the couple’s announcement before it was made to the world.
Harry’s father Prince Charles, as well as his older brother William, were reportedly in attendance at the monarch’s private Sandringham estate in eastern England. Markle, 38, is in Canada with the couple’s son Archie. She likely joined the meeting by phone.
Media prepares in the early morning at the entrance of the castle in Sandringham, England, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.
(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY’S ‘MEGXIT’: IS QUEEN ELIZABETH PARTLY TO BLAME FOR ROYAL CRISIS?
The meeting comes after days of intense news coverage, in which supporters of the royal family’s feuding factions used the British media to paint conflicting pictures of who was to blame for the rift.
The royal brothers even issued a rare joint statement denying media claims that William is to blame for the couple’s move to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
The goal of the meeting is to agree on next steps, which followed days of talks among royal courtiers and officials from the UK and Canada. Buckingham Palace previously stressed that “any decision will take time to be implemented.”
RINCE WILLIAM ‘LET DOWN,’ DUCHESS KATE ‘INCREDIBLY HURT’ BY HARRY STEPPING DOWN, REPORT SAYS
Last week, Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared on social media that their decision came “after many months of reflection and internal discussions.”
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” they continued. “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 added they will continue to work with the reigning monarch, 93, as well as Charles, 71, and William, 37.
AFTER PRINCE HARRY-MEGHAN MARKLE DECISION, BUCKINGHAM PALACE AIDE HAS ‘NEVER SEEN’ MONARCHY IN SUCH PERIL
“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”
They will keep their royal titles.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.