The Queen makes official statement about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down

Following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's decision to step down from being senior royals, Queen Elizabeth releases her official statement.

The Queen's full statement was shared with the public following a meeting, dubbed the Sandringham summit, with senior members of the Royal Family yesterday. 

The 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."

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle officially step down as senior royals

Despite earlier reports that Harry and Meghan will retain their royal titles, People magazine spotted a potential clue from the Queen's statement. 

Although the statement did mention the 'Sussexes', Her Majesty often referred to the couple as 'Harry and Meghan'. In previous royal statements either the 'Duke and Duchess of Sussex' or 'His/Her Royal Highness' has been used by the Queen in reference to her grandson and his wife. 

While it seems clear that Harry and Meghan wish to retain their titles (since they signed off their statement as such) the final decision does lay with the Queen - although royal historian and biographer of the Queen, Robert Lacey, told People that would be highly unlikely.

The Queen's biographer, Ingrid Seward, told People that it could hint Harry and Meghan are willing to give up their titles: "I’ve never seen a statement as personal like that but we haven’t had a situation like this.”

Additionally, Prince Harry and Prince William have banded together to address claims that a rift between the two caused the royal split.

While reports had been circulating that the Duke of Sussex felt bullied by Prince William, the brothers spoke out against those claims saying they're 'offensive', according to The Sun.

Their statement read:

"Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge.

“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.”

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