A palace spokesperson has confirmed that the Duchess of Sussex did not take part in the discussions held by the Queen at Sandringham yesterday.
Senior royals - including Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry - joined Her Majesty at the estate on Monday (13 January), to discuss the future of her grandson and his family, following the Sussexes' announcement last week - in which they declared their intentions to "step back" as senior members of the royal family and become financially independent. It was originally believed that Meghan, who is currently in Canada with their son, Archie, would join the meeting by phone - but it seems that wasn't the case.
While many tabloids were quick to claim that she was "barred" from the discussions, a palace spokesperson confirmed that it was actually decided it wasn't necessary for her to take part.
"The Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join," the spokesperson confirmed to several media outlets, including ITV.
Following the meeting, the Queen released a statement in which she admitted that, while she would have preferred them to have remained full-time working royals, she is "entirely supportive" of the move.
"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family," read the statement shared via The Royal Family's social media channels.
"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."
A statement from Her Majesty The Queen. https://t.co/IVSyfeojqk— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 13, 2020
The Queen reiterated Harry and Meghan's desire not "to be reliant on public funds in their new lives". The couple's dependence on taxpayer money has been used as a criticism against their perceived lavish spending.
"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," said the Queen.
"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."
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