Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s wife, returned to Canada after the couple’s shocking announcement that they were quitting their royal frontline duties, it emerged on Friday as the monarch had urgent discussions with her family to resolve the crisis.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex enjoyed an extended Christmas vacation with their son in Canada before returning this week to break the news that they will “step back” from their royal duties.
The Daily Mail newspaper reported that on Thursday Meghan flew back, never expecting to be long in Britain, and “could remain there for the foreseeable future.”
“I can confirm rumors that the duchess is in Canada,” the spokeswoman for the couple told media sources, without mentioning the Mail’s assertion that Harry was likely to join his wife and 8-month-old son in Canada shortly.
Many Canadian media reported that Meghan had returned to Vancouver off the Pacific coast of the country, where the family spent the year-end holidays, and where baby Archie had lived with his nanny.
The announcement on Wednesday that the Sussexes decided to try a “progressive new role” and split their time between Britain and North America caught the senior royals off guard.
President Donald Trump responded to the announcement saying “I just have such respect for the queen. I don’t think this should be happening,” he said.
The office of Queen Elizabeth II released a close statement on the same night, saying that “complicated issues will take time to work through.”
A palace source said on Thursday that the Queen had directed help to work “at pace” with Meghan and Harry and the government in order to work on possible solutions. The process was anticipated to take “days, not weeks”, the source said.
Media reports say that the queen held a series of discussions on Thursday involving Harry, his brother Prince William and their father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne.
Harry and Meghan are committed to “fully support” the queen and “collaborate” with senior royals.
They also decided to keep their home as their British base on the queen’s Windsor Castle esate, while keeping their objective of becoming financially independent in mind.
Concerns about what this means logically, however, have been raised as their security is provided by the state and they receive funds from the queen and Charles.