Prince Harry and Meghan's plan to split time between UK and Canada Approved by the Queen
The royal summit over the future roles of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan of Sussex concluded Monday with an endorsement from Queen Elizabeth II herself about what her grandson seeks to do, and a promise that "final decisions" will be reached in coming days.
Shortly after 5 p.m. local time, Buckingham Palace released a statement from the queen in which she described the discussions on the future of "my grandson and his family" as "constructive."
"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family," the statement said. "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 Harry and Meghan made it clear they they don't want to rely any longer 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 U.K," the statement said. "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."
Prince Harry, his brother Prince William and father Prince Charles arrived for a royal summit at Sandringham to address the crisis set off by Harry and Duchess Meghan's historic announcement last week to step back from their senior royal duties and live part time in North America.
It is as yet unclear whether Duchess Meghan joined her husband Harry over the phone for the rare sit-down meeting with his grandmother and senior royal courtiers from all the relevant households.
There was no immediate announcement about the specifics of what was discussed or any decisions made. The palace said the queen's statement, sent to USA TODAY via email, would be the only comment of the day.
Buckingham Palace previously confirmed to USA TODAY that Harry would sit down with his brother , father and grandmother for face-to-face talks to discuss a resolution of the crisis that arose last week after Harry and Meghan announced their plans with little warning.
Meghan, who is in Canada, was expected to participate via phone but that was not officially confirmed ahead of time.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's plans have been widely attacked in Britain as unworkable, and amount to a painful split of the royal family.
The royal summit is taking place at Sandringham, the queen's private estate in Norfolk about 100 miles north of London, where she typically stays between late December and early February.
Save for Meghan, the same group participated in a conference call on Friday, according to the Associated Press, quoting British media reports.
Buckingham Palace confirmed that day that Duchess Meghan had returned to Canada to rejoin 8-month-old baby Archie.
Harry remained in the United Kingdom to deal with the fallout from the Sussex desire to change their royal roles, which has produced a fierce media storm. Overnight Sunday into Monday, reporters, cameras and media trucks appeared outside the gates of Sandringham to await news.
Source: Maria Puente and Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY - USA TODAY - 13/01/2020