UPDATE: LONDON, United Kingdom, 17:00 (GMT) – The Queen has issued the below statement:
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.Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.
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.
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.
LONDON, United Kingdom – Though it seems like any normal, unassuming January morning in London, for the members of the British royal family, it’s anything but.
Over the weekend, the Queen summoned all of the senior royals to her Sandringham Estate on Monday to discuss the future of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, following the couple’s shock announcement of their plans to step back from their roles, become financially independent and split their time between North America and the UK.
The Sandringham Summit, as it’s been dubbed in the press, is thought to be the first time the Queen has seen Harry in person since his and Meghan’s bombshell, a surprise which reportedly left her “disappointed” with the couple. Prince Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton will all be in attendance, while Meghan, who returned to Canada last week to be with Archie Harrison, will likely join via video call.
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“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. 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 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.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Ahead of the day, the Duke of Cambridge reportedly told a friend that he wants to find a way to “support” Harry and Meghan going into the family meeting and that he’s “sad” it’s come to this.
“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” he said, per The Sunday Times. “I’m sad about that. All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the same team.”
According to another source, the statement was rushed out because Harry was worried about his wife’s mental wellbeing about returning to life at Buckingham Palace.
“The statement was rushed out and part of the reason for that is that Harry knew he needed to take swift action,” the source said. “Meghan has not settled in the UK and he knows that and wants her to be happy.”
Per the Daily Mail: “Prince Harry fast-tracked plans for both himself and Meghan Markle to quit as senior members of the royal family as he was worried she would have a ‘meltdown’ if she remained in the UK, it has been claimed. “The Duke of Sussex is said to have been growing increasingly concerned about his wife’s wellbeing, with life at Buckingham Palace leaving her ‘on the brink.”
The face-to-face summit follows a series of consultations and will see “a range of possibilities” brought to the table. A source told BAZAAR US that these options will “take into account the thinking of the Sussexes outlined earlier in the week. Making a change to the working life and role in the monarchy for the duke and duchess requires complex and thoughtful discussions.”
As for when we’ll hear anything from inside the palace walls, there’ll likely be news within days, not weeks. “Next steps will be agreed at the meeting and the request for this to be resolved at pace is still Her Majesty’s wish,” the insider noted.
In conclusion, there’s going to be one intense family chat – and potentially a few raised voices – heard at Sandringham today.
Oh, to be a fly on the wall.