Queen Elizabeth has released a groundbreaking statement after the royal family’s summit in Sandringham to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step down as senior royals.
The meeting came to an end after a two-and-a-half-hour discussion on Monday, January 13, 2019.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the Queen said in a statement.
“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.”
Palace sources told PEOPLE that Queen Elizabeth ordered Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles to meet at her country home on Monday in order to “talk things through” with Meghan calling in from Canada.
A source said it was likely Meghan would participate in the discussion on Monday via phone, as she recently returned to Vancouver Island, Canada, where she and Harry spent the holidays together with their son Archie.
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, shocked the world with their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” last week. They revealed their plans to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they wrote in a statement on Instagram.
An insider told PEOPLE that Meghan and Harry’s decision left senior royals “hurt” and “deeply disappointed.”
The unprecedented family summit follows a series of emergency discussions across the last few days and raises the prospect that a solution is in sight that will work for the Sussexes and the royal family.
“There is a range of possibilities for the family to review which take into account the thinking the Sussexes outlined earlier in the week,” the source said.
Read more at People