Queen Elizabeth II of Britain on Monday said she would allow her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan Markle to split their time between Canada and Britain after they announced last week that they would step back as senior members of the royal family and work towards becoming financially independent.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” she said in an official statement. “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 Harry and Meghan had made it clear that they do not want to rely on public funds in their new lives. “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,” she added.
The queen’s statement came after almost 90 minutes of discussion of senior royals at Sandringham, but the details of exactly how Harry and Markle would shape their “progressive” roles remained unclear, The Guardian reported. The newspaper pointed out that the two royals were not referred to as the duke and duchess in the statement, only as the Sussexes and by their first names, thereby raising questions about whether they will retain their titles.
Buckingham Palace was reportedly not consulted by the couple when they took the decision, and reportedly left family members feeling “disappointed” and “hurt”. Ahead of the meeting on Monday, Prince William and Harry jointly condemned speculation about their relationship, made in a newspaper report, as “offensive and potentially harmful”.
“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,” the princes said in a statement released by their offices. “For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of such inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.” Though it was not mentioned which newspaper they were referring to, it was most probably an article published by The Times. The report claimed that Harry and Markle were unhappy with William’s “bullying” attitude. An unidentified person close to the couple reportedly said William did not welcome Meghan sufficiently when she started dating Harry.