Days after a collection of senior royals - including Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles, and Queen Elizabeth II - joined forces for an event since dubbed the 'Sandringham summit,' to thrash out the finer details of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex' 'step back' from their duties in the UK, it seems that a final agreement has been reached.
Sooner than many of us had expected, Queen Elizabeth II has issued a statement, confirming that terms for the next phase of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's life together have been settled among all the interested parties.
The statement, which was published on Royal.UK, but which has since been shared on Harry and Meghan's @SussexRoyal Instagram account states:
Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.
Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.
I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.
I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.
It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.
Choosing to keep the tone of her message familial, the Queen, 93-years-old, dedicated a stand-alone line to her 38-year-old daughter-in-law. After acknowledging the challenges that she'd faced at the hands of the media since the 2018 wedding, she goes on to attest that she is 'proud' of Markle and credits the actress-turned-philanthropist with 'so quickly becom[ing] one of the family.' A touching choice of words to cut through the recent negative headlines.
What is more, on the Royal.UK website, there follows a statement from Buckingham Palace, which outlines further specific details of the new arrangement.
According to the Palace, Harry and Meghan have agreed that as they will no longer make use of their 'HRH' royal titles, as an acknowledment that they will cease to be 'working members of the Royal family.'
The statement also confirms that the pair will no longer receive any public funds for Royal duties, but that they will continue to 'maintain their private patronages and associations.'
Echoing the Queen's choice to acknowledge the strength of the personal relationships between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and all immediate members of the Royal family, the Palace's statement affirms that although, 'they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.'
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex originally revealed to the public their intention to recede from the forefront of the British Royal Family on January 8, stating that after considerable 'reflection' and 'discussion,' they wished to alter the terms of their status as Palace ambassadors, and the framework for the way they make money, wishing to become, eventually, financially independent.
In terms of what Harry, 35-years-old, and Meghan will do next, it is likely that the pair will relocate with some degree of permanency, to Markle's former home of Canada.
While comparisons have been made to the 1936 abdication of King Edward VIII - after which Edward was all-but banished to France with his lover Wallis Simpson - it seems that the terms for Harry and Meghan will not be nearly as strict. They have been clear that they intend to divide their time between Northern America and the UK, indicating relatively regular visits to their family here.
Where Edward was assigned a relatively out-of-the-way position in the British Military Mission in France, Harry and Meghan intend to earn a more serious income. We're certain that they will undertake further philanthropy, but The Times recently reported details of a deal brokered between Meghan Markle and Disney, for voiceover work in connection with one of her preferred charities: Elephants Without Borders.
Further details of the pair's plans can be found on their new website: sussexroyal.com.
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