Queen Elizabeth has come out and finally commented on the surprise announcement from Harry and Meghan about deciding to step back from their royal duties. After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to become financially independent, there was a commotion among the royals regarding the sudden change. Though Queen Elizabeth had previously asked the couple not to make an official announcement yet, it was clear that they had already decided what to do.
The Queen made a few statements at the talks at Sandringham, saying that she is “entirely supportive” of the couple’s desire for financial independence, but still would have preferred them to stay as full-time royals. The couple have decided to still serve the Queen and the royal family, but avoid using public funds and playing too active of a role.
The Queen says, “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 Duke and Duchess will be playing a new role in the royal family, one where they would be financially independent, still serve the Queen, and spend their time between North America and the UK.
The Queen also said that there will be “a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK” after their Royal Highnesses “made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”
They have applied to trademark their own brand, Sussex Royal. The couple aims to earn a professional income while continuing to serve the Queen. This means that the couple will no longer be covered by the Sovereign Grant, which in reality only covers 5% of their expenses. The Duke and Duchess continue to explain on their website that public funding has “never been used, nor would it ever be used for private expenditure.” They also stated that they “do not receive any tax privileges.”
Duchess Meghan Markle already landed a deal with Disney to record a voice over for an upcoming project. Meghan recorded the voiceover in exchange for Disney to donate to Elephants Without Borders, a Botswana non-profit that aims to curb poaching of elephants. This was just weeks before their announcement to exit as senior members from the royal family.
Regarding how the new decision will take place, the Queen said, “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 seems as though the Queen is supportive of the Sussex Royals’ decision, she still wants to make sure that they are confident in their future. The exact details of what role they will play in the royal family and how their financials will work still have to be ironed out.
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Source: BBC News