Nearly a week after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle issued their request to step down as senior members of the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II has issued a statement of support as Buckingham Palace hammers out the details of what people have dubbed “Megxit.”
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the British monarch said in a statement, as reported by Fox News. “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 went on to say that there are “still issues to be resolved” before a final exit can be established.
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” continued the queen. “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.”
Though the queen expressed support in her statement, reports leading up to it told a different story, with royal insiders telling various media outlets that she was both disappointed and blindsided by the sudden decision. Steve Hilton, former senior adviser to former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, said on Fox Nation’s “Deep Dive” that the queen’s statement is one of her most emotional.
“It feels like the most emotional words I’ve ever heard from the Queen,” said Hilton. “It’s very interesting. It feels very personal in a way that I’ve never seen before.”
Steve Hilton added that perhaps Prince Harry’s move here is to address some of the questions from his father, Prince Charles, regarding the monarchy’s role in the modern era.
“It’s a point that Prince Charles himself has been making,” said Hilton, “which is in the modern era, people don’t want — in the phrase that’s used a lot in the U.K. — these hangers-on. … They’re never going to be king or queen, so why should the taxpayers fund their lavish lifestyle? Let’s just slim it all down and focus on the core Royals who are really much closer to the line of succession to carry out their constitutional duties. That’s the sort of underlying point. And that could have been worked out.”
Last week, Duke and Duchess of Sussex made their shocking announcement to balance their time between the United Kingdom and North America as they seek financial independence.
“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honor our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” the couple said. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”