“In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join,” a palace spokesman said in a statement to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, January 14.
Harry, 35, attended the summit in person at Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, on Monday, January 13, with the queen, 93, his brother, William, 37, and their father, Charles, 71. Together, the royals discussed the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step back from senior duties.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” Elizabeth said in a statement after the summit. “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.”
She continued, “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. 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.”
Harry and Meghan, who married in May 2018, broke the news via Instagram on Wednesday, January 8, that they planned to divide their time between the U.K. and North America in order 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.”
Multiple sources told Us Weekly that while the decision had been in the works behind-the-scenes for a while, the royal family was blindsided by the sudden release of the couple’s announcement.
“Harry and Meghan made their statement without the official blessing of the queen,” one source told Us. “It’s not that they didn’t care — it was a miscommunication.”