Queen Elizabeth agrees ‘period of transition’ for Harry, Meghan
Queen Elizabeth II yesterday said the royal family has agreed on a “period of transition,” during which the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will split their time between Canada and the UK, after the couple announced last week they wished to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family.
The statement came after Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry met at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk to discuss the couple’s future.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” read part of the statement.
“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,” it added.
“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,” read the statement.
Earlier, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge denied “false” claims in the Times that their relationship was damaged by bullying.
A statement on behalf of Princes Harry and William described the story’s “inflammatory language” as “offensive”.
The Times quoted a source saying the Sussexes felt they had been pushed out and “constantly bullied” by William.
A statement on behalf of Harry and William said: “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.
“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.”
Claims of bullying have been strongly contested by other sources close to the Cambridges and Harry, the Times article reported.
In October, Harry responded to speculation about a rift between the brothers by saying the pair were “on different paths at the moment” but he loved William “dearly”.
Dan Wootton, the executive editor of the Sun who broke the news of Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back, said: “It is quite extraordinary that at a time when Prince William and Prince Harry are having so much warfare behind the scenes that they have come together to issue this joint statement.” -Agencies