24/09/2020

The Queen met with Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Monday to discuss demands by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to have more freedom from the Royal household

The Queen has agreed to a period of transition for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that will see them live in Canada and Britain while details of their future role in the Royal family are worked out.
The Queen met with Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Monday to address demands by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex who want more freedom from the Royal household and greater financial independence. In a statement after the meeting the Queen said; My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghans 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.
The statement added that the couple 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.
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The Duke and Duchess caught the Royal family off guard last week by issuing a statement that said they wanted more financial independence and that they planned to split their time between the UK and North America. Ms. Markle has balked under the media glare and she has been holed up in Canada while Prince Harry and his family thrashed out how the new roles would work. The rift has driven a wedge between the brothers and earlier on Monday they moved to play down reports in some newspapers that Prince Harry and Ms. Markle had been bullied by other Royals. Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex & The Duke of Cambridge, the brothers said in a joint statement. 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.
Sorting out new roles for the Duke and Duchess will be complicated and the Queen will have to address the future of their Royal titles, their financial support and whether they can continue living at Frogmore Cottage next to Windsor Castle. Above all the Queen will want to ensure that Prince Harry and Ms. Markle dont try to cash in on their Royal connections. That has caused the Royal family plenty of grief in the past.
For example, Prince Andrew pursued a number of business and charitable interests and ended up befriending American pedophile Jeffery Epstein. In November he was forced to drop all Royal duties because of his association with Mr. Epstein who died in jail last summer while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking. The Queens youngest son, the Earl of Wessex, also became caught up in controversy in 2001 after his wife, the Countess of Wessex set up a public relations firm. She had to resign after making a number of disparaging comments about politicians and Royals to an undercover reporter. There were also allegations that her business partner was trying to sell access to the Royal family. At the time, Buckingham Palace defended the Earl and Countess but said that pursuing working careers as Royals was not an easy option.
There are examples in other Royal families where members take on outside roles and earn their own income. Prince Constantijn, the younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, has worked as a lawyer for years. His wife, Princess Laurentien, was named a UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development in 2009 and chair of the European Commissions High Level Group of Experts on Literacy in 2011. In Sweden, Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine, both children of King Carl XVI, have led largely independent lives from the Royal family. Last October the King announced that their children would no longer perform official duties or receive any taxpayer-funded income. Both Prince Carl Philip and Princess Madeleine welcomed the change and said it would give their children more freedom. The Royal family in Norway has also limited senior royals to just four people; the King, Queen, heir and spouse.
Bob Morris, a monarchy researcher at University College London, said the European model wouldnt work in the UK. Britain is a far larger country, he said, and the Queen is the head of state of 15 countries. Prince Harry and Ms. Markle also havent quite been able to distinguish between celebrity, which allows you do what the hell you like within the law, and royal status which is something very different, Mr. Morris said. Its not just a question of mere protocol its a question of how far you can allow royal status to be monetised for your private benefit.
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