Meghan Markle Returned to Canada After Quitting as Senior Royal

NUKU'ALOFA, TONGA - OCTOBER 26: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at Tupou College on October 26, 2018 in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan Markle has returned to Canada, leaving her husband Prince Harry in the UK to deal with the fallout of their bombshell announcement that the couple will be stepping back as senior members of the royal household to embark on a “progressive” new life.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had flown to Canada less than 24 hours after revealing she and Harry were seeking to step back from royal duties, according to the Daily Mail. A spokesman confirmed to the Metro that Markle was no longer in the country.

The Duchess of Sussex is said to have wanted to return to be with her eight-month-old son Archie, who was understood to have been left in Toronto with Markle’s best friend, Canadian fashion stylist Jessica Mulroney, and the nanny.

According to the MailOnline, Harry will rejoin his new family after royal engagements are concluded late next week. Sources also said that Meghan “had not” planned on staying in the UK after Christmas.

The American former TV star and the Duke of Sussex made the announcement on Instagram on Wednesday, writing on the social media platform: “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.”

The couple added that they plan to split their time between North America and the UK, with Frogmore Cottage, which cost taxpayers £2.4 million to renovate, in England as their British base. While no longer receiving the sovereign grant, they will likely be seeking money from the Prince of Wales and the British taxpayer will continue to cover their security detail.

Harry reportedly ignored pleas from his aides to not unilaterally make the announcement out of respect for his 93-year-old grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, and was said to have ignored requests from the Queen herself to keep his wish private until arrangements had been made.

The announcement was reportedly a shock to the royals who were said to have been “hurt” and “deeply disappointed”, with reports that the communication had not been sanctioned by Buckingham Palace.

Sources told the media that the Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William had only recently been apprised of the couple’s plans and talks on supporting them in their wishes were in the “early stages”. It has been reported that Meghan and Harry made the decision during their six-week Christmas break in Canada, while others close to the family said that Harry and Meghan have been planning the move since Spring 2019.

Palace sources have said that they now have to make arrangements “in days not weeks”. The MailOnline reports sources as saying that Her Majesty had held several crisis telephone calls, including with Prince Charles in his Scottish residence of Birkhall, Prince William at Kensington Palace, and Prince Harry at Frogmore Cottage.

The Queen was said to have demanded her family come up with a “workable solution” in days, with aides set to provide options to the Sussexes. Given the seriousness of the situation, home secretary Priti Patel is said to have been asked to take part in negotiations between the couple and the Royal Family.

However, sources have said that the Queen’s characteristic calmness has prevailed, and everyone was now “working with a clear head”. The source told the MailOnline: “There is a pragmatic attitude that seems to run through the Queen and Prince of Wales.

“They are not railing against whether the situation is right or wrong, they just know this needs to be dealt with. They have accepted it and are trying to resolve it.”

The source added that there was far less certainty over how the Sussexes will respond to the offers presented to them. They said: “They have talked in broad brush strokes about what they want, this hybrid model of being a member of the Royal Family, but even they haven’t nailed down the fine detail and may say that they don’t like what is being put on the table.

“What does being a progressive royal mean?”


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