Buckingham Palace has released a statement from the Queen following the royal family's summit in Sandringham to discuss the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's future. It read: "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."
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The private meeting was attended by the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge and their respective private secretaries. The Duchess of Sussex, who is currently in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie, is believed to have joined the discussion by a conference call.
How events have unfolded…
On the evening of Wednesday 8 January, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted a lengthy statement on Instagram, announcing they want to step back as senior members of the royal family. It read: "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.
Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Queen on Monday
"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 post also included a link to the couple's new website SussexRoyal.com, which contains in-depth details about their work and their future plans.
MORE: Prince William and Prince Harry release emotional joint statement about their sibling relationship
Harry and Meghan visited Canada House last Tuesday
Later on Wednesday evening, Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Queen, which read: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
Last Thursday, Her Majesty directed aides to help the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to find a "workable solution" within days, that will allow them to change their royal roles. The Queen then scheduled the family summit with Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William at Sandringham on Monday 13 January to talk through the "next steps" for the Sussexes.
Meanwhile, Meghan returned to Canada to be reunited with baby Archie, but is believed to have dialled into the meeting via a conference call.
MORE: Kate Middleton spotted as the royal family prepares for crisis talks in Sandringham
The meeting took place at Sandringham House
"Following a series of meetings and consultations across the last few days, there are a range of possibilities for the family to review, which take into account the thinking the Sussexes outlined earlier in the week," a palace source previously told HELLO!
"As we have said previously, making a change to the working life and role of the monarchy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex requires complex and thoughtful discussions. Next steps will be agreed at the meeting.
"The request for this to be resolved ‘at pace’ is still Her Majesty’s wish. The aim remains days not weeks. There is genuine agreement and understanding that any decision will take time to be implemented."
Ahead of the meeting at Sandringham House, brothers William and Harry released a joint emotional statement in response to reports of sibling bullying. It read: "Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge. For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful."
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