London: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II agreed Monday to offer Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle a ‘period of transition’ during which the couple can divide their time between the UK and Canada.
After her first face-to-face talks with her grandson and senior members of the royal family at the 93-year-old monarch’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, Buckingham Palace issued a statement. It said that as the transition period kicks in right away, the ‘complex’ matter of the couple’s future roles will be fleshed out in the coming days.
The statement notes that the discussions had proved ‘constructive’ and that the royal family was supportive of the young couple’s desire to create a more independent life for themselves.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the statement issued in the name of the Queen said.
“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,” the statement further said.
In reference to the complex financial issues involved, the statement said: “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.”
Royal experts interpreted the historic statement as a favourable outcome for Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, who had issued a statement last week to reveal plans to step back as senior royals and take on a semi-independent role while setting up a second home in North America with their eight-month-old son Archie.
Markle is already in Canada to be with Archie and is believed to have joined the discussions over telephone.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, his brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, and their father Charles, the Prince of Wales, had all been invited to the emergency meeting at the Queen’s Sandringham estate.