The Queen expressed tonight how she is ‘particularly proud’ of her granddaughter-in-law Meghan Markle, praising the speed with which she became part of the family.
In her statement, she thanked the couple for the dedicated work they had done, saying she was pleased they had found a constructive way to move forward.
She expressed her desire for the family to create a ‘happy and peaceful life’ which the couple intend to purse in North America where they can set their own agenda and make money how they choose.
Despite being surprised by Harry and Meghan’s announcement on January 8 that they wished to step back as senior royals, the Queen revealed that she had been aware of the couple’s unhappiness and desire to pursue a less prominent role.
In her statement, the Queen thanked the couple for the dedicated work they had done, saying she was pleased they had found a constructive way to move forward. Pictured is the Queen’s statement
And a statement from Buckingham Palace (pictured) read: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives’
She said the decision was the result of ‘many months of conversations and more recent conversations’.
In her statement, the Queen said: ‘Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.
‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.
‘I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.’
‘I want to thank them all for their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.
‘It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.’
The Queen’s words of praise over how Meghan has adapted so swiftly into the Royal Family comes after months of controversy surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
In her statement Her Majesty The Queen praised how Meghan had swiftly become part of the family and thanked the couple for the work they had done
The couple decided not to spend Christmas at Sandringham this year and spent the festive period with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland and their eight-month-old son Archie at a gated estate on Vancouver Island, Canada.
This was despite an invitation by the Queen in 2017 for Meghan to spend Christmas at Sandringham as Prince Harry’s fiancee.
The actress has followed in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge – who made the guest list for the first time in 2010, as Prince William’s then fiancée – in securing an invitation to the event ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry next May.
However, unlike Kate, Meghan joined her husband-to-be at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate on December 25th – an unprecedented step for someone who was yet an official member of the Royal Family.
Following the couple’s wedding ceremony in May 2018 at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were given the title of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – a title which had not been handed out for more than 150 years.
Harry also received Scottish and Northern Irish titles, becoming the Earl of of Dumbarton and Baron Kilkeel, which meant Meghan became the Countess of Dumbarton and Baroness Kilkeel.
Prior to the couple’s announcement of their intention to step down as senior royals, the Queen offered to meet the Duke – which was blocked by courtiers – but she still made an explicit request to her grandson that he first discuss his future plans in detail with his father, the Prince of Wales.
But the couple defied the order, going ahead with the announcement and ‘pressing the nuclear button’ on their royal careers, with William and Charles allegedly receiving a copy of the statement just 10 minutes beforehand.
A senior royal source said the Queen and her family were ‘deeply disappointed’ by the news, while another said the royals were ‘shocked, saddened and downright furious’ at the couple.
The Queen said: ‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family’
The statement issued by Buckingham Palace tonight revealed that Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer use the titles ‘royal highness’ or receive public funds for their work under a deal that lets the couple step aside as working royals.
Releasing details of the dramatic split triggered by the couple’s unhappiness with life under media scrutiny, the palace said Harry and Meghan will cease to be working members of the royal family when the new arrangements take effect in the ‘spring of 2020.’
The radical break is more complete than the type of arrangement anticipated 10 days ago when the royal couple stunned Britain with an abrupt announcement that they wanted to step down.
They said they planed to combine some royal duties with private work in a ‘progressive’ plan, but that is no longer on the table.
Harry and Meghan will no longer use the titles His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness but will retain them, leaving the possibility that the couple might change their minds and return sometime in the future.
Harry’s late mother, Diana, was stripped of the Her Royal Highness title when she and Prince Charles divorced.
They will be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Harry will remain a prince and sixth in line to the British throne.
The agreement also calls for Meghan and Harry to repay £2.4million in taxpayers’ money spent renovating Frogmore Cottage near Windsor Castle.
However they will continue to use Frogmore Cottage as their base in England.
The deal came after days of talks among royals sparked by Meghan and Harry’s announcement last week that they wanted to step down as senior royals and balance their time between the UK and North America.
Line-by-line: What the Queen said and what she meant in her statement
1. ‘Following many months of conversations’: The opening line begins with a bombshell, revealing that Harry and Meghan have been discussing their exit from royal life with the Queen and other senior royals for longer than the public expected.
The couple announced their intention to step back as senior royals on January 8. In a statement the Duke and Duchess said: ‘After many months of reflection and internal discussions.’
2. ‘My grandson and his family’: The Queen highlights her personal bond with Harry and refers to him as her ‘grandson’ emphasising her role as not just the monarch but also his grandmother.
The word ‘family’ appears four times in the statement which relates to the Royal Family and the family unit of Harry, Meghan and Archie.
3. ‘Much-loved members of my family’: The Queen hits a personal note by emphasising how Meghan, Harry and Archie will always remain ‘much-loved’ members of her family.
The statement has a deeply personal tone with the use of three ‘I’s’ and three ‘my’s’ throughout its five paragraphs.
4. ‘The Commonwealth’: The Queen expresses her gratitude for the work Meghan and Harry have contributed to ‘the Commonwealth and beyond’. Meghan and Harry wish to pursue an independent life in Canada, another Commonwealth country.
5. ‘Particularly proud’: The Queen pays tribute to Meghan and praises how quickly she has become part of the family. This is in light of how many feel the Queen has every right to be unhappy with the way the Duchess has behaved.
6. ‘My whole family’s hope’: Here the monarch speaks as a head of the Royal Family as a whole, putting aside her personal feelings for the greater good.