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“They’ve made it clear”: Queen reacts to Harry and Meghan’s wish to step down​

“They’ve made it clear”: Queen reacts to Harry and Meghan’s wish to step down​

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rejected the Queen’s request to stay as full-time royals after crisis talks and are set to seal their fateful exit within days.

Her Majesty issued a statement of support for her grandson and his family, saying she was “entirely supportive: of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s desire to become independent from the royal family and spend more time in Canada.

She announced while she “would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family,” she agreed to their requests.

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“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” she said in a statement after two hours of crisis talks at her Sandringham estate.

“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.”

The Queen said that while discussions were still ongoing, as more complex matters need to be resolved, she had accepted a “period of transition” in which the Sussex's would spend time in Canada and the UK.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” she said.

“It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussex's 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.”

The statement followed after Prince Harry and Prince William took a united step of releasing a joint announcement to deny claims of “bullying” ahead of the royal summit.

Via Buckingham Palace, she said: “Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge.”

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“For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful,” they said.

A source told The Times a falling out between the two brothers began around the Sussex wedding in May 2018, as Prince Harry believed his older sibling had not done enough to welcome Duchess Meghan into the family.

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The newspaper also mentioned the constraint of Prince William always taking precedence as the heir to the throne.

“If you are Meghan and Harry and you have had two years of constantly being told your place, constantly bullied as they would see it, constantly being told what you can’t do, Meghan has been thinking ‘This is just nuts, why would anyone put up with this?’” the source said.

The Duchess of Sussex was not present at the summit, and chose to dial in from Canada, where she returned last week to be with their son, Archie.

It is the first time the family had med face-to-face since the Sussex’s bombshell announcement that they would be stepping back as senior royals and work to achieve “financial independence”.

At the time, Buckingham Palace responded with a terse statement saying: “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

The key issues up for negotiation included their royal titles, duties, security arrangements, any commercial deals and funding arrangements as well as where the couple would live and their immigration status.