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

Princeton RCMP sergeant kills cougar threatening residential neighborhood

An RCMP officer shot and killed a cougar, close to a residential… Continue reading

Pilot project approved: Penticton to allow alcohol in outdoor spaces

For almost two hours, council debated the proposed pilot project, before eventually passing it 4-2

Osoyoos Desert Centre prepares for reopening

The 67-acre nature interpretive facility opens June 6

Small business grants available through Okanagan initiative

Susie and Bryan Gay launched ‘This Bag Helps’ to help fellow small business owners during the pandemic

Penticton Vees acquire forward Luc Wilson in trade with Cowichan Valley

Departing is 20-year-old Penticton native Jack Barnes

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Most Read