Queen Elizabeth has given her blessing to grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s wish for a more independent future following crisis talks involving the most senior members of the royal family.

The head of state announced there would be a “period of transition” with Harry and Meghan – who have said they want to be financially independent and step back as senior royals – living in Canada and the UK.

The Queen was joined at Sandringham by the Prince of Wales and Prince William – the Duke of Cambridge – for the face-to-face talks with Harry and described them as “very constructive”.

It is unusual for the Queen to issue a statement in her own name – when not paying condolences after the death of a foreign head of state or sympathising following a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

And the formal titles of the couple – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – were not used by the monarch.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the 93-year-old monarch said in a six-sentence statement that mentioned the word “family” six times.

“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 there was more work to be done on finalising future arrangements for the couple.

This is a handout photo issued on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020 by Buckingham Palace of a statement by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on the future of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Queen Elizabeth II says she has agreed to grant Prince Harry and Meghan their wish for a more independent life that will see them move part-time to Canada. (Buckingham Palace via AP)