The royal family is working together to figure out the specifics of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s future. Following the couple’s announcement expressing their desire to step back as senior members of the royal family and seek financial independence, things have been chaotic. With Monday’s meeting at Sandringham, the royals worked together to clear up some of the confusion.
Queen Elizabeth was joined by Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry for the meeting. Members of each royal’s team were also believed to be present for portions of the conversations. The goal was to sort out some of the details of Harry and Meghan’s progressive role moving forward.
Initial reports indicated that Meghan would phone into the conversation from Canada, where she currently is with Archie. However, it was later clarified that Meghan did not participate in talks. “In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join,” an aide at Buckingham Palace said.
The conversation lasted 90 minutes. Following the meeting, Queen Elizabeth released a rare statement that clarified what was discussed during the meeting. “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” she said.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” she continued.
“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 U.K.,” the statement continued.
“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.” It was later indicated that there would be no further comment until those matters are straightened out.
One of the lingering issues that many in the public are concerned about is the price of the security for Harry and Meghan. UK taxpayers don’t want to foot the bill for the couple’s bicontinental living. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau indicated that there are talks for Canada to pick up at least part of the bill.
The prime minister told a Canadian television station on Monday that “there are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have, and these are things that we are obviously supportive of their reflections, but have responsibilities in that as well.”
He later added, “That is part of the reflection that needs to be had and there are discussions going on. We are not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, what the dispositions are and those are the decisions for them.”
As far as excitement goes, it seems Canadians are enjoying the idea of having Harry and Meghan. “I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals here, but how that looks and what kind of cost is involved, there are still lots of discussions to be had,” the prime minister noted. The couple has long expressed having “a strong connection to Canada.”
As these talks continue, there has been a closer look at the behavior, particularly of British tabloid newspapers and magazines, that may have driven Harry and Meghan to this decision. In particular, the racism that Meghan has been targeted with has been a huge subject of conversation. The racism has been apparent since the earliest reporting on Harry and Meghan’s relationship.
Side-by-side comparisons of headlines about the Cambridges and the Sussexes have gone viral. Particularly, Kate is lauded for her every move regarding motherhood, fashion, and the monarchy. Meghan was ruthlessly attacked for the same actions.
Royal commentator Kristen Meinzer discussed the double standard Meghan is subjected to with Insider.
“Over and over again, the press tears Meghan apart for crossing her legs, saying it’s a breach of protocol,” she said as an example. “But do a quick Google image search of ‘Queen crossing legs,’ ‘Camilla crossing legs,’ ‘Di crossing legs,’ etc., and you’ll find dozens if not hundreds of photos of royals at official events crossing their legs.”
Harry has spoken out about Meghan’s treatment on several occasions, the first time being before they were even engaged. At the time, he slammed the press. “His girlfriend, Meghan Markle, has been subject to a wave of abuse and harassment,” the statement read.
“Some of this has been very public – the smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
Even 70-plus female members of Parliament have spoken out in solidarity with Meghan following the vicious treatment.
“On occasions, stories and headlines have represented an invasion of your privacy and have sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see,” their statement said, in part. “Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories.”
The speculation of Meghan being responsible for Harry leaving the royal family just further drives home the point that people are holding her responsible for the decision the two made as adults taking charge of their family and their future.