Following today’s unprecedented Royal Family summit at Sandringham to thrash out the way forward to Harry and Meghan’s desire to quit their duties, the Queen has released a statement.
In a deeply personal message by Her Majesty the couple are referred to as ‘Harry and Meghan’ rather than their titles the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, clouding their royal status.
The statement indicates that the couple will not receive money from the public purse but its reference to a ‘period of transition’ does not clarify how they will achieve self sufficiency.
Here, MailOnline deconstructs the six-sentence statement and looks at the clues it provides to the Sussexes stripped-back future.
Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.
Heading in to today’s crunch Sandringham summit, royal insiders expected Harry to dig his heels to secure the best possible financial settlement for him and Meghan as they move to become ‘financially independent’.
But ultimately it is the Queen who has the final say on the Sussexes’ future. It was unlikely that Her Majesty – whose recent public outings were designed to show Royal life was continuing as normal – would describe the meeting as anything other than ‘constructive’ as she looks to steady the ship and chart a way out of the crisis.
My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.
A deliberate attempt to display a unified front amid speculation of anger from within the ranks, particularly from Prince William who was ‘incandescent’ and Harry’s blindsiding of him in his decision to quit.
Regardless of William’s personal views, the Queen is making sure each member of the Family is singing from the same page.
Her Majesty’s reference to ‘Harry and Meghan’, rather than ‘the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’, as is protocol for official Palace statements, could be an indicator the couple are poised to be stripped of the HRH titles.
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 Queen is deeply disappointed with Harry and Meghan shirking their Royal duties. But, this also leaves open the possibility of the couple continuing to perform some pared-back duties in the future.
Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.
This seems to give Harry and Meghan licence to strike commercial deals, as they are understood to want to pursue.
The pair currently receive money from Prince Charles’ estate The Duchy of Cornwall, from which Harry received £2 million last year.
But it still opens up the question of who will pay for their security, although the Canadian PM is believed to have offered to pledge funds to contribute towards their protection.
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.
A grey area where the couple will begin to gradually wind down their duties and begin to forge a new life abroad.
Note that when referencing the transition phase, the couple are referred to as ‘the Sussexes’, indicating they will keep their titles during this window.
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.
This is an unprecedented crisis for the Family which is far from over. The Queen is desperate for the storm to pass and has asked her courtiers to double down on efforts to reach a solution.
‘A protective grandmother looking after a vulnerable grandchild’: Royal expert dissects Queen’s ‘warm’ statement about Harry and Meghan
By Danyal Hussain for MailOnline
The Queen’s dramatic statement on the future of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was from the perspective of a grandmother looking after a vulnerable grandchild, according to royal author Penny Junor.
In her statement, Her Majesty makes clear her disappointment at the couple’s decision to quit their Royal duties but said the royal family ‘understand and respect’ their wishes.
The Queen’s words came after a summit at Sandringham between herself, Princes Charles, Prince William and Harry, with Meghan believed to have dialled in from Canada.
Reacting to the statement, Penny Junor said the Queen was ‘carefully handling a vulnerable Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘.
She also described the monarch’s words on the future of Harry and Meghan as ‘friendly and warm’.
The couple, who do not want to be publicly funded, will have a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK, but final decisions will also be reached in the coming days.
‘I think it’s a positive statement. It sounds friendly and warm, the way the Queen talks about family so much,’ Junor said.
‘That she’s supportive of their decision is really good news.’
She added: ‘It read to me like a grandmother talking about the family.’
The royal writer said it gave the couple space to find their perspective.
‘I think it will take the pressure off them. I think they’re in a very vulnerable state at the moment. I think they’re unhappy, they feel isolated and unloved, unappreciated and they needed careful handling,’ she said.
‘My reading from that statement is that the family has been sensitive to their vulnerability.’
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, believes the Queen’s statement, which uses the word ‘family’ eight times, was intended to be ‘very gentle and very informal’.
‘It’s just the way it’s written is extremely informal, and I think that’s to make it very friendly,’ the royal biographer said.
‘And I think it’s quite gentle. And I think that’s probably the whole approach, it’s gently, gently. And interestingly enough, she keeps mentioning family, the whole way through.
‘It’s certainly not Oscar Wilde. But I just think it’s a very together and quite loose statement and obviously it’s just to keep everybody happy moving forward.’
Asked about the next steps following the statement, Ms Seward said: ‘She said in the coming days, so that’s very quick for the royal family.
‘I think we’ll be hearing more quite shortly – I think this is a bridge.’
Meanwhile, biographer and royal historian Robert Lacey said the language was an immensely personal intervention uncharacteristic of typical Palace communiqués.
He told BBC Radio 4: ‘It is remarkably hands-on. I mean it may have been processed through officials but this is the Queen, speaking to her people and speaking about her family, and I think coming right through it is the concern she feels.’
Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter added that the move was likely to be telling, tweeting : ‘I do think it was very striking, particularly in a statement from the Queen. Are they having to give up their titles? This would be an indication they are…’
The Queen said: ‘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.’
After spending the afternoon bunkered down in crunch talks inside the grand house’s Long Library, Charles, William and Harry left the Norfolk estate in separate cars.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Jack Elsom