Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II on Monday allowed her grandson Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to split their time between Canada and Britain during a “transition period” in which the family would figure out how to deal with their shock resignation from front-line royal duties.
The monarch said she held “very constructive” talks between Harry, his older brother, Prince William, and their father, Prince Charles, aimed at charting a course through the fallout of the bombshell announcement.
Meghan reportedly joined the conversation by telephone from Canada after jetting out of Britain last week.
Their effective resignation on Wednesday last week followed a year filled with rumors of infighting between the brothers and reports of Meghan feeling unwelcome in the highly traditional and structured 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 at her Sandringham estate in eastern England.
The couple said they wanted to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution” — a statement that some read as a slight at the way the royal family has been run under Britain’s beloved monarch.
The queen frankly admitted that their decision was not welcome news.
“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,” she said.
The monarch stressed the couple told her “they do not want to be reliant on public funds,” but did not address the issue of whether they would keep their royal titles.
Harry and Meghan are formally known as the duke and duchess of Sussex. Five percent of their income comes from public funds. The rest comes from Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall heredity private estate.
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