Queen agrees to “period of transition” for Harry and Meghan after 2-hour royal crisis meeting

Queen Elizabeth II said she had
Queen Elizabeth II said she had "very constructive" talks with Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles. File photo courtesy: Twitter/@Conservative

It was a 2-hour long, unprecedented gathering of the senior members of the Royal Family as they met at Sandringham, Queen Elizabeth II's country estate in rural Norfolk. At the end of the crisis meeting, where the future roles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were discussed, the Queen said she would allow her grandson Harry and Meghan to split their time between Canada and Britain. 

An agreement was reportedly reached on their future as the head of the royal family said she had "very constructive" talks with Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles. Meghan reportedly called in from Canada, having returned there to be with her infant son, Archie.

The meeting came after the Sussexes made the shock announcement last week that they were going to step back from their royal duties and seek financial independence. A decision that was taken and announced without consulting any member of the royal family.  

"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 Queen said in a statement after the first day of meetings yesterday.

Harry and Meghan said they wanted to "carve out a progressive new role within this institution".

"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 added.

Queen Elizabeth II said she was supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. File photo courtesy: Twitter/@RoyalFamily
Queen Elizabeth II said she was supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. File photo courtesy: Twitter/@RoyalFamily

There are many issues that remain unresolved as of now but the monarch stressed that Harry and Meghan have told her that "they do not want to be reliant on public funds." She did not however address the issue of whether they would keep their royal titles, though many thought it significant that she did not use their titles in her statement. 

The Sussexes get 5 percent of their income from public funds while the rest comes from Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall, a hereditary private estate dating back to 1337, which funds the public, charitable and private activities of his family.

The Sussexes get 5 percent of their income from public funds while the rest comes from Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RoyalFamily
The Sussexes get 5 percent of their income from public funds while the rest comes from Prince Charles' Duchy of Cornwall. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@RoyalFamily

With Harry and Meghan’s reduced royal roles and desire to eke out their own financial future, the share of public money that comes their way is just one of many factors that the royals will have to work out over the coming days. 

"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," said the queen, stressing that there were still "complex matters" left to resolve.

"I have asked for final decisions to be reached within days," she said.

William and Harry deny reports of bullying

In a show of unity, brothers Princes William and Harry, issued a joint statement denying a report in The Times which claimed that the Sussexes felt "pushed away from the royal family" by William's "'bullying attitude".

"For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful," they said in a joint statement.

37-year-old William and 35-year-old Harry have always shared a close bond, especially after the death of their mother Diana in 1997. However, in an ITV documentary last year, Harry admitted a rift with his brother, saying that they were on “different paths”.

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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