The Queen has made her first personal statement since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the unprecedented announcement last week that they will be stepping back as senior royals and plan to be financially independent.
Following a four-way meeting in Sandringham which saw The Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry discuss the logistics of the Sussexes' wishes, the monarch released a statement confirming Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will no longer remain full-time working members of the Royal Family.
"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family," the 93-year-old monarch began.
"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."
Concluding, "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."
The statement is a stark contrast to the terse, two-sentence statement released by Buckingham Palace following the Sussexes' initial announcement on Instagram, which had given the impression Harry and Meghan had not forewarned the Palace of their decision.
"Discussion with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," it had read.
"We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."
The couple shared the royal bombshell on Wednesday (London) time in a statement on Instagram explaining that "after many months of reflection and internal discussion, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution."
The couple revealed they planned to "step back" as senior members of the royal family and become finally independent while continuing to support The Queen.
They also explained they plan to split their time between the UK and North America and instructed their followers to visit their newly launched website for more information on their future plans.
While the Sussexes' news came as a shock to many, for those following the increasingly strained and tumultuous relationship the royal couple, have had with the press, public opinion and royal life over the past year, it may have felt not entirely unexpected.
The announcement comes after months of intense media scrutiny, heightened after an ITV documentary on their October tour of Southern Africa aired.
The royal pair made several candid confessions in the doco Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, admitting they've struggled behind the scenes as working members of the royal family.
Meghan, in particular, has found it difficult to adjust to royal life, revealing that her British friends warned her against marrying into the royal family, telling her the British tabloids would destroy her life.
"I never thought that this would be easy, but I thought it would be fair," she told interviewer Tom Bradby.
"And that's the part that's really hard to reconcile."
She added, "It's not enough to just survive something, right? Like, that's not the point of life. You've got to thrive, you've got to feel happy."
WATCH: Duchess Meghan admits she was naive and that she was warned the tabloids 'will destroy your life'. Story continues below...
Prince Harry also spoke of the pressure he feels as a member of the royal family and, in particular, the media's presence which he said reminds him of "the bad stuff" - referring to the scrutiny his mother Princess Diana was under and ultimately her death in Paris in 1997 after being pursued by paparazzi.
"I think being part of this family, in this role and this job - every time I see a camera, every single time I hear a click, every single time I see a flash – it takes me straight back.
"So in that respect, it's the worst reminder of her life as opposed to the best."
It was recently revealed that Prince William had opened up about his "sadness" over the growing distance between him and his younger brother following the Sussexes' announcement.
According to The Sunday Times, the future king told his friend: "I've put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can't do that anymore; we're separate entities."
However, the 37-year-old has reportedly said he has hopes the rift will be repaired over time.
"All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we're all singing from the same page," he said, according to the friend.
"I want everyone to play on the team."
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