Queen back­ing for Harry and Meghan

Manchester Evening News - - NATIONAL -

THE Queen has is­sued a state­ment in sup­port of the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex fol­low­ing a cri­sis sum­mit say­ing the royal fam­ily “re­spect and un­der­stand” their de­sire for a “new life”.

The head of state an­nounced there would be a “pe­riod of tran­si­tion” with Harry and Meghan – who have said they want to be fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent and step back as se­nior roy­als – liv­ing in Canada and the UK.

She stressed the dis­cus­sions were “com­plex mat­ters” for her fam­ily to re­solve but she wanted “fi­nal de­ci­sions” in the “com­ing days”.

The Queen was joined at San­dring­ham by the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cam­bridge for the face-to-face talks with Harry and de­scribed them as “very con­struc­tive”.

It is un­usual for the Queen to is­sue a state­ment in her own name – when not pay­ing condolence­s af­ter the death of a for­eign head of state or sym­pa­this­ing fol­low­ing a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter or ter­ror­ist at­tack.

And the for­mal ti­tles of the cou­ple – the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex – were not used by the monarch.

The head of state said: “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.

“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 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.”

Mean­while,the Duke of Cam­bridge has is­sued a joint state­ment with the Duke of Sus­sex, deny­ing a news­pa­per claim about the broth­ers’ re­la­tion­ship which they branded “of­fen­sive and po­ten­tially harm­ful”.

The state­ment did not name the news­pa­per but the Times yes­ter­day had a front page story about the cri­sis, and says a source told the pub­li­ca­tion Harry and Meghan “re­garded them­selves as hav­ing been pushed away by what they saw as a bul­ly­ing at­ti­tude from the Duke of Cam­bridge”.

The re­port goes on to say that these al­le­ga­tions have been con­tested by other sources close to the Cam­bridges and Harry.

A joint state­ment is­sued on be­half of the princes said: “De­spite clear de­nials, a false story ran in a UK news­pa­per to­day spec­u­lat­ing about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Duke of Sus­sex and the Duke of Cam­bridge.

“For broth­ers who care so deeply about the is­sues sur­round­ing men­tal health, the use of in­flam­ma­tory lan­guage in this way is of­fen­sive and po­ten­tially harm­ful.”

There has been much spec­u­la­tion about the re­la­tion­ship of the broth­ers who, a few years ago, were work­ing closely to­gether on char­i­ta­ble projects and lived yards from each other at Kens­ing­ton Palace.

Harry and Meghan want to live in Canada and the UK

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