Queen Elizabeth approves Harry and Meghan’s transition to private life

Published On January 13, 2020 | By Raymond Brooks | International, News
Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leave Canada House in London on Jan. 7, 2020 (REUTERS/Toby Melville)
Raymond Brooks

Queen Elizabeth has given her royal support to Harry and Meghan’s decision to “step away” as full-time royals.

In a statement released by the Queen, she said she understands the wish Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, to lead an “independent life.” The couple has decided to spend time in both Canada and the U.K. as “part of the transition.”

This came at the end of a remarkable day of face-to-face talks between Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry with Meghan reportedly calling in from Canada.

Meanwhile, Prince William and Prince Harry issued a joint statement of their own responding to allegations that Harry is leaving his senior role in the royal family due to alleged “bullying” from his older brother and the future king.

“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,” the statement said.

The joint statement insisted the story was false. The news organization was not named, but it’s widely believed to be the Times of London, which ran a front-page story on the crisis.

All of this was triggered by a bombshell announcement by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they announced their plan on Jan. 8 to become “financially independent.”

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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shown a fondness for Canada. While in the military, Harry did two stints at the Suffield military base in southeastern Alberta. He also picked Toronto to host the third iteration of the Invictus Games for wounded veterans, which is where the couple made their first public appearance.

After announcing their dramatic departure from regular royal life, Meghan immediately flew to Canada to be with her son, Archie, who had stayed behind in Canada after the Christmas break.

The Monarchist League of Canada, a pro-monarchy group, said that the “decision reaffirms the priorities they have previously expressed….to concentrate on raising their son.”

Canadian Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said at a news conference on Monday, that the federal government hasn’t decided if Ottawa will cover the security costs that are estimated by CBC News to be $1.7 million.

The Queen’s Full Statement

Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. 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 UK.

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.

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