Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images
In what has now become known as the Sandringham summit, senior royals met to discuss new roles for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. These talks ensued after Harry and Meghan’s controversial announcement to ‘step back’ as senior royals. The couple communicated their desire to strive for financial independence and this was discussed too.
The Queen has announced her support of the ambitious couple. This follows after initial online speculation that she was unhappy with the seemingly unexpected announcement.
View this post on Instagram
Merry Christmas! This year The Queen's Speech was filmed in the Green Drawing Room at Windsor Castle. It will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 3pm GMT. This year also marked the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and in The Queen's Christmas Speech Her Majesty will reflect on the commemorations. "For the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of that decisive battle, in a true spirit of reconciliation, those who had formerly been sworn enemies came together in friendly commemorations either side of the Channel, putting past differences behind them. . "By being willing to put past differences behind us and move forward together, we honour the freedom and democracy once won for us at so great a cost.” Watch The Queen's Christmas broadcast on TV, radio and online here tomorrow at 3pm GMT.
(Note an absence of Harry and Meghan’s photograph on The Queen’s desk for the filming of her annual speech).
The Queen’s 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.”
The future of the Sussexes
This announcement follows after news of Archie being left with his nanny in Canada during the couple’s most recent trip to England. Moreover, the Duke and Duchess’ dogs have been transported to Canada (already) following their announcement to relocate. This could mean that the relocation could happen sooner than initially expected.
If you missed the couple’s official statement about ‘stepping back’, here it is:
View this post on Instagram
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Meghan and Harry have dealt with a mixed bag of responses. Many have come out in support of their decision to work towards independence.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) January 14, 2020
One thing I will say about #Megxit is that if you think Diana wouldn't have been SO proud of Harry for putting his wife and child first, I think you'd be mistaken. Di would have loved Meghan to bits and that's the tea
— 🏳️🌈Nikki!!🌌🏳️🌈 (@Elkers) January 10, 2020
While other Twitter users were quick to criticise Meghan and blame her for The Sussexes’ decision to relocate and step back. The whole saga has been (somewhat jokingly) referred to as #Megxit.
I don’t believe Meghan belongs with the Royals! She doesn’t fit in!! She wants to start a big business, become very wealthy, and not have to share it! So, she is trying to rip the Royals apart to achieve her goals! Harry should divorce her!
— Carol D. Boberg (@CarolDBoberg) January 14, 2020
People aren’t angry that Meghan and Harry want to leave. Please, go!
We’re angry they expect to keep their titles, privileges, luxuries and funding while pimping their royal status for gross monetary gain. Not to mention their disrespect and ingratitude to the Queen. #Megxit
— tony chesser (@TonyKayjo55) January 11, 2020
Harry and Meghan’s blame game
What has, however, become clear is that Meghan is facing the brunt of the blame for this decision. Although Harry has always been an unconventional royal, it’s Meghan who has become the target for online slander.
Piers Morgan went on a now-famous rant about Meghan’s influence on the royal family. Morgan distastefully cited Meghan’s strained relationship with her father as the first warning sign of familial disruption. An undeniable low-blow.
So what’s next in the Sussex saga? Only time will tell, but for now we know that The Queen is in their corner and that’s truly what counts.