• Monday, Mar 30, 2020
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What happens next after queen grants Harry, Meghan 'transition period' in Canada

  • Published at 09:03 pm January 14th, 2020
Prince Harry Queen Elizabeth Megan
FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, pose for a picture at in London, Britain on June 26, 2018 Reuters

Harry and his American actress wife will now begin a 'period of transition' that will see them split their time between Britain and Canada as they also seek a lifestyle less encumbered by royal duties and to end their reliance on public funding

Queen Elizabeth has reluctantly agreed to her grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle's wish for a more independent future after the British royal family held crisis talks on Monday to resolve a widening rift among the Windsors.

Harry and his American actress wife will now begin a "period of transition" that will see them split their time between Britain and Canada as they also seek a lifestyle less encumbered by royal duties and to end their reliance on public funding.

It comes after what the 93-year-old queen described as "very constructive discussions" between herself, Harry, his elder brother Prince William and his father and heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, at the monarch's rural Sandringham estate in eastern England.

A final decision on the future of the couple, officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, will be determined in days, she said in a statement.

The statement was highly unusual both in its informal tone and its personal nature, addressing the couple by name rather than by their titles.

The monarch admits that there are still "complex matters" to be worked through, however says she hopes these will all be sorted by the end of the week.

What will happen next?

Harry will remain in the UK until Thursday, when he is due to host an event at Buckingham Palace.

The Duke of Sussex is set to host the Rugby League World Cup draw, an engagement that was set before the couple's bombshell announcement.

It's believed that he could fly back to Canada to join Meghan and infant son Archie shortly afterwards.

Meghan and Harry have no further UK engagements in the calendar after the rugby draw, which means palace authorities do not know when they will see them officially again.

In her statement, the Queen confirmed that the Sussexes do plan to move to Canada - which is part of the Commonwealth - in the near future.

Although she didn't give an exact date she said they would move between the countries during a "period of transition."

‘New role’

Harry and Meghan say they want a "progressive" new role for themselves and financial independence. Currently, they are mainly funded by money from Prince Charles's Duchy of Cornwall estate as their royal roles have precluded them seeking personal incomes.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said most Canadians are very supportive of having the royals in the country. "But how that looks and what kind of costs is involved, there is still lots of discussions to have," Trudeau told Global News in a television interview.

There are no provisions in Canada's Citizenship Act that confer Canadian citizenship status to members of the royal family by virtue of their status as a member of the monarchy, Canada's immigration department said in an emailed statement.

To become legal permanent residents of Canada, they would need to apply through normal immigration processes, the statement added.

In a sign of the tensions, Harry and William issued a rare public statement on Monday to denounce a report by the Times newspaper based on an unnamed source which said Harry and Meghan had been pushed away by "a bullying attitude" from William who had not been welcoming to Meghan.

Royal titles

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Meghan and Harry's future roles within the royal family, including whether they will keep their royal titles.

British national daily The Daily Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers believes the queen's statement included a huge clue that the couple may decided to give up or be stripped of their titles.

He said: "It really is quite remarkable to see the queen referring to Meghan and Harry by their first names rather than as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

"Official titles are always used on official statements, so this is highly unusual.”

The couple's son Archie doesn't have a royal title, and at seventh in line to the throne he's the most senior royal without one.