Jan 13, 2020

Queen Elizabeth II agrees to "period of transition" for Harry and Meghan

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II in the House of Lord's Chamber at the Houses of Parliament. Photo: Richard Pohle - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II said in a statement Monday she has agreed to a "period of transition" in which Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, will split time between the United Kingdom and Canada, after the pair announced last week they would "step back" as senior members of the royal family.

Why it matters: It's an expression of support that follows an emergency family summit this weekend. The queen said she would have "preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family," but respects their wish to live a "more independent life."

Read the full statement:

"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.
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.
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."

Go deeper: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to "step back" as senior royals

Go deeper