Queen Elizabeth speaks out about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's future as royals

Queen Elizabeth issued a statement following "very constructive discussions" regarding the future of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb

Queen Elizabeth II is speaking out after holding emergency talks with her family discussing the path ahead for Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

The royal couple sent shockwaves through the royal family last week after they made the bombshell decision to step away from their lives as senior royals and to work to become financially independent.

Queen Elizabeth released the following statement Monday:

"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

"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.

"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."

It has been less than a week since Harry and Meghan released a statement on Instagram detailing how they planned to take a "step back" from their duties as senior members of the royal family.

"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,'' they wrote. "We intend 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. who are parents to 8-month-old Archie, said they plan to split their time between North America and the United Kingdom.

The timing of their announcement seemed to come as surprise to other members of their family. Buckingham Palace issued a sharply worded statement that discussions were "at an early stage."

"We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through," the statement said.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex spent the Christmas holiday in Canada. Meghan reportedly returned to Canada to be with baby Archie after the couple announced their plans last week.