Just hours after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan (née Markle) announced their plans to step back from royal duties, Queen Elizabeth had something to say. The royal family matriarch initially responded to the news in a statement released by Buckingham Palace, but a source told Closer Weekly how Her Majesty really feels.
“The Queen had an inkling that Harry and Meghan wanted to move to Canada,” the insider exclusively shared with Closer following the bombshell announcement on Wednesday, January 8. “Harry did mention it to her but nothing was confirmed. The couple released the statement before having a full-on, sit-down discussion with the queen about their future.”
Fans were wondering if Elizabeth, 93, was properly informed of her grandson’s decision after she released a short statement in response to the news. “Discussions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement read. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
In their official announcement, Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, stated they’ve chosen to “step back as ‘senior members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty the queen,” the couple explained.
“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” Meghan and Harry, who share son Archie, 8 months, initially said in their post. “It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”
Now that they will have tons of time off, Meghan and Harry “plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America,” they said. Although they will be raising Archie at their home in London as well as in Meg’s native U.S. and Canada, where she filmed Suits, they they will continue “to honor our duty to the queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages,” the couple continued.
“This geographic balance will enable us 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,” Meg and Harry concluded.
Fans wondered if the pair’s choice to step out of the royal spotlight was because of the last year filled with intense public scrutiny. However, a second source told Closer Weekly that Meghan and Harry — who tied the knot in May 2018 — are taking a step back because they want to spend more time with their little bundle of joy.
“Moving to Canada is definitely an option for Harry and Meghan,” a second royal insider shared with Closer, noting the pair want to raise their son in a more private environment. “They’d also be able to give Archie a more normal upbringing in Canada, away from the media circus in London, which is a priority for the royal couple,” the source explained. “Archie is their No. 1 priority.”
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