Queen Elizabeth II released a rare statement Monday following an emergency summit on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s request to “step back” from their duties as senior members of the royal family.
The two-hour family meeting was held at the monarch’s private Sandringham estate, according to the Associated Press.
The queen called the meeting to work out an agreement on Harry and Meghan’s request to become “financially independent,” and live part-time in North America. She sat down with Harry and other members of the royal family. Meghan was in Canada with 8-month-old Archie and is believed to have called in for the meeting.
The queen said in her statement she is “supportive” of the couple.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” she said stated. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.”
Her comments come amid intense media coverage of the royal rift following Harry and Meghan’s statement last week on social media about shifting their priorities, which reportedly caught the queen off guard.
Over the weekend, the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were threatening to give a “no-holds-barred” interview if their concerns were not addressed.
The queen said Monday’s meeting was “constructive,” and there will be a “period of transition″ to sort things out, with Harry and Meghan splitting their time between Canada and the U.K.
Below is her statement on the meeting.
“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.”