Thursday 23 January 2020

Meghan goes back to Canada to be with son Archie after royal rift

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attends the 91st Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey on November 07, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gestures during her visit with Prince Harry to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Sussex arriving for her visit to Canada House, central London, to meet with Canada's High Commissioner to the UK, Janice Charette, as well as staff, to thank them for the warm hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada. Photo: Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Michael Holden and Tony Jones

Meghan Markle has flown back to Canada to be with their son after the shock announcement made with her husband Prince Harry that they will step back from their royal roles and spend much of their time in North America.

A spokeswoman said Meghan had gone to Canada to be reunited with their son, Archie.

The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge have ordered their teams to find a "workable solution" over the future role of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex within the royal family.

A Buckingham Palace source said the senior royals have asked aides to work "at pace" with governments and The Sussex Household and an outcome was expected to take "days, not weeks".

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gestures during her visit with Prince Harry to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gestures during her visit with Prince Harry to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Queen and other members of the family were said to be left "hurt" by Harry and Meghan's decision to issue a personal statement, which outlined their future lives as financially independent royals who will divide their time between the UK and North America.

It's understood the royal family will talk to multiple governments which suggests US and Canadian officials may be involved.

The Duke of Cambridge is due to be in Yorkshire for a number of appearances next Wednesday, alongside the Duchess of Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Harry is not expected to be seen in public again until next Thursday, when he will do the draw for the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

Given the Queen's timetable of "days" it is likely they will want any talks concluded before the Prince of Wales travels to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories at the end of the month, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.

The latest developments reveal the divisions within the heart of the British monarchy which has already been rocked by the Duke of York's disastrous television interview about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Harry, Meghan and baby Archie, soon before the pressures on the couple apparently began to take a toll (Toby Melville/PA)
Harry, Meghan and baby Archie, soon before the pressures on the couple apparently began to take a toll (Toby Melville/PA)

Harry and Meghan went ahead and released their personal statement on Wednesday evening which was a "bolt from the blue" for Buckingham Palace, sources told PA.

The Duke and Duchess, who have only recently returned from a six-week stay in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie, said in their statement this week: "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.

"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."

Meghan received a public boost from her close friend Jessica Mulroney, a Canadian stylist and TV star, who posted a quote attributed to Gina Carey, which said: "A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink."

The statement - and a new official Sussexroyal.com website - have thrown up important questions about funding for the couple's round-the-clock security, media access to their royal events and how they will pay for their future lifestyles.

The website, registered in March 2019, was created by a Toronto-based agency called Article which says its clients "range from national brands to lifestyle influencers".

It lists clients including the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Meghan's old blog The Tig, nickelodeon, and fashion brand Diane von Furstenberg.

Meghan closed The Tig before marrying into the royal family, and posted candidly about her own outlook and experiences.

The Article website carries a link to Meghan's final post on The Tig which is a letter to "all my Tig friends", that says: "What began as a passion project (my little engine that could) evolved into an amazing community of inspiration, support, fun and frivolity."

Meghan also tells her readers: "Keep finding those Tig moments of discovery, keep laughing and taking risks, and keep being 'the change you wish to see in the world'."

Reuters

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