Her Majesty has spoken. Days after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan announced their plans to step down from their senior royal roles in the future, Queen Elizabeth finally spoke out with an official statement. And, in what might come as a surprise to some people, the Queen's response to Meghan and Harry stepping back from royalty is so supportive.
On Monday, Jan. 13, Harry sat down with the Queen, Prince William, and Prince Charles at Sandringham to discuss the details of his and Meghan's hope "to carve out a progressive new role within this institution" and "become financially independent." Meghan was expected to dial in from Canada, where she returned last week to be reunited with baby Archie.
The talk seemingly went well, as the Queen's post-meeting statement was very positive, and revealed the royal family had "very constructive discussions."
The Queen's statement continued: "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 Queen added that Meghan and Harry have "made it clear they do not want to be reliant on public funds" as they navigate their new life as husband and wife and parents to Archie.
In conclusion, the Queen confirmed that it has been "agreed upon" that Meghan and Harry will split their time between the United Kingdom and Canada. "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," she said.
The tone of the Queen's statement is much more optimistic than the confusing response from Buckingham Palace shortly after Meghan and Harry's detailed Instagram post regarding the news on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
"Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," the post read. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
Ahead of their meeting on Monday, Harry and William spoke out in a rare statement denying that Harry and Meghan's decision was due to Prince William's rumored "bullying behavior" towards Meghan.
"Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge," spokespeople for Harry and William explained. "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."
While discussions within the royal family continue, fans can rest assured that the Queen is remaining supportive of Harry and Meghan's wishes thanks to her statement.