Just when we thought there couldn't possibly be any more breaking royal news this week, Buckingham Palace has gone and released an unprecedented statement on behalf of Queen Elizabeth.
In case you missed it, on January 8, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed that they’re stepping down as “senior” members of the royal family. The couple announced the news on their joint Instagram account and shared a lengthy caption explaining their decision.
This left quite a number of questions lingering among royal fans—and even among the royals themselves. What would this mean for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s titles? Would they live in the U.K. or Canada? And what exactly did their request for “financial independence” mean?
Well, we finally got quite a few answers today. In a statement from Queen Elizabeth (which was shared on Meghan and Harry’s Instagram account), she not only wished the couple well, but she seemed to indicate that the matter was now thoroughly resolved.
Her letter read, “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.” Sounds like no one is disowning anybody anytime soon. Phew.
She continued, “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.” A special shoutout just to Meghan? Maybe this will finally put all of those rumors about discord amongst the royal family to bed.
“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life,” she concluded.
In addition to the queen's statement, Buckingham Palace released a number of other important details. To start, “They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.” This seems to fit in line with what Harry and Meghan requested in terms of financial independence.
Also, “With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While 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 Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.” Not using their HRH title and not representing the queen any longer? We're glad to finally have some clarity, but these changes are major.
The statement went on to say that Markle and Prince Harry will continue to call Frogmore Cottage their home, but they will repay the Sovereign Grant, which was used to cover the costs of their home refurbishments.
With so many changes and so many royal announcements in the past weeks, it's going to take us a minute to digest everything. Let's just hope this means the end of the constant “breaking royal news” announcements...at least for a few days.