Darren Adam 1am - 4am
Queen 'entirely supportive' of Harry and Meghan following crisis talks
13 January 2020, 17:30 | Updated: 13 January 2020, 18:35
The Queen has said she is "entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan" following Royal Family crisis talks at Sandringham.
The 93-year-old released a statement following Monday's talks, saying it had been a "very constructive" session on "complex matters" and confirmed there would be "a period of transition".
It added: "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
Monday's meeting at the Queen's Sandringham estate was the first time Harry had met with his grandmother, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge since the issue engulfed the royal family this week, making headlines around the world.
The statement issued by Her Majesty was unusual in that it was issued in her own name - an action usually reserved for when paying condolences after the death of a foreign head of state, a natural disaster or a terrorist attack.
Formal titles of the couple - the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - were also omitted by the monarch.
Prince Harry arrived shortly before 10am and William arrived at 1.45pm, 15 minutes before the reported start of the summit at 2pm.
Meghan was with her baby son Archie in Canada, but a royal source said it was likely she would join the crisis talks by phone.
The duchess flew to Canada a few days ago where the family spent an extended festive break in the province of British Columbia.
This evening's statement follows a day in which Princes Harry and William were forced to refute claims that bullying had tarnished their relationship.
The Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge issued a joint statement ahead of Monday's historic meeting.
"For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful," it read.
Queen's full statement
The full Buckingham Palace statement read: "Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.
"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.
"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.
"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."