The Queen has spoken.
Queen Elizabeth II met on Monday with her grandson, Prince Harry and members of the royal family. The Duke, along with the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, recently announced that they would “step back” from their roles as senior members of the royal family and seek to become “financially independent.”
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the reigning British monarch said 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.”
“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 queen 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.”
Harry’s father Prince Charles, as well as his older brother William, reportedly attended the meeting at the queen’s Sandringham estate in eastern England. Markle, 38, is in Canada with the couple’s son Archie. Fox News said she “likely joined the meeting by phone.”
Earlier in the day, Prince William and Prince Harry issued a joint statement objecting to a story in the British media that a split among the two brothers has led Harry to his decision.
“Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge. For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful,” the statement said.
The royal couple, who wed last year in a storybook ceremony, last week announced that they would withdraw from their roles as senior members of the royal family.
“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,” they said in a statement posted on Instagram.
“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,” they wrote. “It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
“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. 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 concluded.