Royal editor explains why the Queen's statement is 'breathtaking'

13 January 2020, 19:51

A royal editor told Iain Dale why the Queen's statement is "breathtaking" and marked an "absolutely historic moment".

It was released this afternoon following the "very constructive discussions" with the Sussexes about them spending time in Canada and the UK.

"This statement does say a lot actually," said the Daily Mirror's Russell Myers, "the fact that the Queen has spoken of her sadness...she would've preferred to keep Harry and Meghan close by as full-time working members of the royal family.

"It's a particularly candid statement and an absolutely breathtaking one from the Queen, very very candid indeed."

LBC's Iain Dale commented that these last few days "feel like quite a landmark in the history of the royal family... people might look back on the last few days as crucial in the development of a modern day monarchy."

Russell said this was "without a shadow of a doubt."

"When the history books are written 100 years from now, this Sandringham summit, they'll take several chapters to describe it because you're talking about the inner workings of the Royal Family and how that will shape the modern day monarchy."

The fact that Harry and Meghan want to step back from being senior royals is a "tragedy" from the family and an "absolutely historic moment in the whole history."

The Queen's statement was 'breathtaking', says royal editor
The Queen's statement was 'breathtaking', says royal editor. Picture: PA

Every member of the public has an opinion on Harry and Meghan's choice, Russell observed, whether they are angry that the pair claim public money, people who don't care about the royals, people who are applauding their decision.

"Make no mistake about it, the feeling overwhelmingly is everybody is talking about this, it is a truly truly historic moment and the [media] coverage has reflected that."

In the statement, Her Majesty The Queen said: "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."