SANDRINGHAM, England (AP) — Britain’s pragmatic queen brokered a deal Monday to secure the future of the monarchy, charting a course for Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, that allows them to live part-time in Canada while still remaining firmly tied to the House of Windsor.
The decision followed a summit at Queen Elizabeth II’s Sandringham estate in eastern England that sought to resolve the conundrum of what to do with royals who only want the job part time. The British monarch said in a statement that the summit of senior royals was “constructive,” and that it had been “agreed that there will be a period of transition” to sort things out during which Meghan and Harry will spend time in both Canada and the U.K.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the queen said in a statement. “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.”
The summit marked the first face-to-face talks with Harry since he and Meghan unveiled their controversial wish last week to step back from their royal roles, become financially independent and split their time between Britain and North America. The meeting reflected the queen’s desire to contain the fallout of from the independence announcement, which prompted hurt feelings among senior family members not told in advance of the decision.
The queen said after Monday’s meeting that these were “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.”