Britain’s Queen Elizabeth has given her blessing to grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s wish for a more independent future following crisis talks involving the most senior members of the 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 monarch said in a statement.
“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 there would be a transition period during which the couple would spend time in the UK and Canada, adding there was more work to be done on finalising future arrangements for the couple.
Earlier, Prince Harry and Meghan issued a statement outlining their wish to step down, “carve out a progressive new role”, and become financially independent.
They said that they wanted to divide their time between North America and the UK.
In response, Buckingham Palace said these were “complicated matters”.
The British media reported that the queen was taken aback by the couple’s move.
In her Royal Christmas Message, the monarch rounded of what she described as “bumpy” year.
In a more pressing family crisis in 2019, her son Prince Andrew came under increased scrutiny after being accused of raping a minor – an allegation which saw him step back from royal duties.