After a pretty quiet holiday with their son Archie, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sent shockwaves through the entire royal family following their announcement that they would be stepping back from their duties as full-time royals.
In the announcement, the couple made it clear that they plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and Canada, and this kicked off a wave of questions about exactly what their new roles would look like. It was evident from reports that the royal family had been blindsided by the announcement.
If you’re looking for further evidence that Buckingham Palace had no idea this was coming, you need only to look at their response to rumors ahead of the announcement that Harry and Meghan were planning to spend more of their time in Canada.
At the time, Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the rumors, calling them “speculation.” This response from the palace came just days before Harry and Meghan made their official announcement, suggesting that the palace was just as clueless as everyone else.
After the announcement was made, there were still many determinations left to iron out, including which funds Harry and Meghan would and wouldn’t be drawing from, and how many of their royal duties they would continue to perform.
In the wake of their announcement, though, it seems as though things have calmed down substantially for the entire family. More recently, the queen released a statement suggesting that she was on board for the changes that Harry and Meghan wanted to make.
In the statement, she said she was “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.” After all, even if Harry and Meghan are charting a different course for their own future, the queen seems more than understanding of their desire for a different kind of life. She was just surprised by the sudden nature of the announcement.
That surprise is part of the reason so much is still up in the air for the couple.
Although everyone seems to have bought into the idea that Harry and Meghan can lead more independent lives, there’s still a lot of work left to do in order to figure out exactly what those lives will look like.
There may be some fights left ahead of them, but they’ve earned the queen’s support for their decision. That may have been the biggest hurdle the couple had to jump over in the entire process, and it’s now officially behind them.