Jan 13, 2020

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

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

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Harry and Meghan Markle to repay $3.1 million in taxpayer funds, forego titles

Harry and Markle at the British High Commissioner residency in Oct. 2019. Photo: Michele Spatari/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have agreed to repay roughly 2.4 million pounds, or $3.1 million, of taxpayer money spent on Windsor Castle renovations, AP reports.

The big picture: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will also no longer use "royal highness" titles, or receive any public funds as part of their deal to "step back" as senior royals, per AP.

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Prince Harry addresses his and Meghan Markle's royal decision

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Oct. 2. Photo: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry told a London charity event Sunday he and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, had "no other option" but to step back from working as senior members of Britain's royal family.

Why it matters: In his first speech since the couple agreed to relinquish their "royal highness" titles in order to split their time between the U.K. and North America, Harry expressed "great sadness" about the move. He alluded to British press harassment in his speech, saying "the media is a powerful force." They hoped to continue to with duties "without public funding," he said. "Unfortunately, that wasn't possible."

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Keep ReadingArrowJan 20, 2020

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make first appearance since royal departure

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on Jan. 07, 2020 in London, England. Photo: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first public appearance since stepping back from their royal duties at a JPMorgan event in Miami on Thursday, reports the New York Post.

Why it matters: As part of their agreement with Buckingham Palace, Harry and Meghan agreed to forego their royal titles and stop receiving public funds — in line with the couple's announcement that they plan to become "financially independent." The BBC notes that Harry spoke at the event, but it was not confirmed whether he was paid to appear.