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

Nomination period closing soon for Abbotsford’s Arty Awards

Deadline of Aug. 1 set for 16th annual event which highlights local artists

Virtual Career Panel discusses job challenges faced by newcomers

Archway Community Services in Abbotsford participates in event on July 16

Abbotsford Hospice Society holds community scavenger hunt

Road to Gratitude event takes place on Sunday, July 19 by the carload

New book celebrates people and events that shaped Abbotsford

Pre-sales launched for Abbotsford – A Diverse Tapestry, to be released in fall

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Fraser Valley loses the Keith Wilson Waver as Ron Hupper passes away

Hupper brought smiles to the faces of hundreds of people traveling Chilliwack’s Keith Wilson Road

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Most Read