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.