Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her full support for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they prepare to “live a more independent life” and split their time between the U.K. and Canada.
The monarch issued a rare statement on Monday to address developments following a two-hour summit at royal residence Sandringham Estate, where she sat down with her grandson Prince Harry, his brother Prince William, and their father, heir to the throne Prince Charles, to discuss the couple’s next steps.
Prince Harry’s wife, former actress Meghan, is believed to have joined in via a video call from Canada, where she is staying with the couple’s eight-month-old son, Archie.
In the statement, The Queen revealed they had “very constructive discussions”, during which they agreed to a “period of transition”, granting the Duke and Duchess their wish to step down as senior members of the royal family and work to become 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 declared.
“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 U.K. 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, the son of Charles and his late ex-wife, Diana, Princess of Wales, is sixth in line to the throne.
He and Meghan wed in 2018.