Queen Elizabeth II said Monday she "would have preferred" Prince Harry and Meghan to remain "full-time working Members of the Royal Family" but respects their decision "to live a more independent life as a family."

"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family," Her Majesty said in a statement. "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."


The queen added that the details of the young couples' decision to distance themselves from the Royal Family still have to be worked out.

"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 queen said.

The announcement came after the British royals held an unprecedented summit triggered by the couple's shock announcement that they planned to "step back" from their traditional roles.

Last Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex posted the stunning announcement on social media and their own new website that they would split their time between North America and the United Kingdom as they "carve out a progressive new role within this institution."

“This bombshell had been dropped on the royal family and yet they still hadn't met to discuss it face to face,” NBC royal contributor Camilla Tominey said.






“I think people really couldn't relate to that, so the idea of a face-to-face meeting was urgently needed as is a solution to this problem. [The royals] don't want it to be strung out over weeks. They want it done in days,” she added.

The meeting will take place at Queen Elizabeth II’s Sandringham estate in the east of England. The heir to the throne, Prince Charles, will be there, after returning from Oman, where he had gone to pay his condolences after the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Prince William will also be at the meeting.

The family will need to work out how exactly Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan will continue to support the queen, while also working to become “financially independent.”

The couple's decision has captivated the nation as well as its newspaper headlines, with much speculation on what prompted their announcement. On Monday, William and Harry issued a joint statement publicly denouncing an "offensive" newspaper report about their relationship.

"Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a U.K. newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge," the statement issued by the offices for William and Harry said, according to Reuters.






Last year, there were rumors in the press of a rift between Harry and William, who were once very close, and in June, Harry and Meghan confirmed that they were separating from William and Kate's Royal Foundation charity to start their own initiative, Sussex Royal.

Harry seemed to confirm the distance between the brothers in the interview with journalist Tom Bradby in Africa when he said that he and William were on “different paths.”

The couple’s decision comes less than two years after their celebrity-studded fairy-tale wedding at a medieval church on the grounds of Windsor Castle. Harry and Meghan, who is biracial, were hailed for modernizing the monarchy and bringing a breath of fresh air into a centuries-old institution.