FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2017 file photo, Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle arrive at Nottingham Academy in Nottingham, England. Buckingham Palace said Monday May 6, 2019, that Prince Harry’s wife Meghan has gone into labor with their first child. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)

Meghan returns to Canada as royal courtiers chart path for independence

Monarch and other members of the family were said to be ‘hurt’ by the announcement

Queen Elizabeth II has moved quickly to take control of the crisis surrounding the decision by Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, to distance themselves from the royal family, ordering royal courtiers to find a future role for the pair within days.

Officials representing t he most senior members of the family — the monarch, her son Prince Charles, grandson Prince William, and Prince Harry and Meghan — were meeting to sort out a workable solution for the couple within the royal family.

In the meantime, Meghan has returned to Canada, where she and Harry spent the Christmas holidays, instead of with other royals at the queen’s estate in Sandringham, England. The former actress has longstanding ties to the country, having lived in Toronto while filming the TV show “Suits.”

The talks come after the royal pair released a “personal message” Wednesday evening that said they were stepping back from being senior members of Britain’s royal family, aimed to become financially independent and would “balance” their time between the U.K. and North America.

Harry and Meghan faced a barrage of criticism from the British press over their decision.

The couple has long complained of intrusive media coverage and accused some British media commentators of racism. They slammed the country’s long-standing arrangements for royal media coverage and insisted that from now on they prefer to communicate directly with the public through social media.

The monarch and other members of the family were said to be “hurt” by the announcement because they weren’t informed about the communique before it was released. News of the talks followed.

The latest developments reveal more divisions within the British monarchy, which was just rocked in November by Prince Andrew’s disastrous television interview about his relationship with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew, the queen’s second son, has stepped away from royal duties and patronages after being accused by a woman who says she was an Epstein trafficking victim who slept with the prince.

ALSO READ: Prince Harry and Meghan to ‘step back’ as senior UK royals

Harry, 35, is Elizabeth’s grandson and sixth in line to the British throne, behind his father, brother and his brother’s three children. The former British Army officer is one of the royal family’s most popular members and has spent his entire life in the public eye.

Before marrying the prince in a wedding watched around the world in 2018, the 38-year-old Meghan was a star of the TV legal drama “Suits.” The couple’s son Archie was born in May 2019.

The couple’s statement on Wednesday left many questions unanswered — such as what they plan to do and how they will earn private income without tarnishing the royal image. At the moment, they are largely funded by Harry’s father, Prince Charles, through income from his vast Duchy of Cornwall estate.

They said they plan to cut ties to the taxpayer support given each year to the queen for official use, which currently covers 5% of the costs of running their office.

Harry and Meghan also have considerable assets of their own. Harry inherited an estimated 7 million pounds ($9.1 million) from his late mother, Princess Diana, as well as money from his great-grandmother. Meghan has money from a successful acting career.

Danica Kirka And Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Furry, four-legged donors make their way to doggy blood drive in Langford

WAVES and Canadian Animal Blood Bank host blood drive for dogs

VicPD confirms wolf sighting in James Bay

Police ask that children and pets be taken inside

Colwood hosts open house on future of Royal Bay community

Event takes place on Jan. 22 at Royal Bay Secondary from 6 to 8 p.m.

Sidney woman promises to pay back anonymous donor who covered her back rent

Zora Hlevnjak faced eviction after refusing to repay money earned collecting cans

Annual Salmon Carcass Transplant draws Saanich residents to Douglas Creek

More than 100 frozen salmon tossed into the creek as part of ecological restoration

‘Presumptive case’ of coronavirus in Canada confirmed by Ontario doctors

Man in his 50s felt ill on his return to Canada from Wuhan, China

VIDEO: Drone footage shows extent of damage in Highway 4 rockslide

Tofino, Ucluelet still cut off from rest of the island, as crews work to repair roadway

People knowingly take fentanyl so make policy changes to reduce harm: B.C. study

Dr. Jane Buxton, an epidemiologist at the centre, says drug users need more resources,

‘My heart is going to bleed’: Bodies brought back to Canada following Iran plane crash

Remains of Sahar Haghjoo, 37, and her eight-year-old daughter, Elsa Jadidi, were identified last weekend

UBC grad and sister killed in Iran plane crash had bright futures ahead, close friend says

Asadi-Lari siblings Mohammad Hussein and Zeynab were two of 57 Canadians aboard downed Flight PS752

BCLC opens novelty bet on Harry and Meghan moving to the west coast

Meanwhile, real estate agency points to four possible homes for the family

Canada slips in global corruption ranking in aftermath of SNC-Lavalin scandal

The country obtained a score of 77, which places it at the top in the Americas

Wuhan bans cars, Hong Kong closes schools as coronavirus spreads

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said her government will raise its response level to emergency, highest one

Most Read