Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, has gone back to Canada to be with their son after the couple provoked a rift with Britain’s royal family by unexpectedly announcing they would be stepping back from their roles to spend more time in North America.
Queen Elzabeth and other senior British Royals were trying to calm the crisis by thrashing out a plan for Harry and Meghan after the couple blindsided the family by going public with their announcement without consultation.
The couple spent six weeks in Canada at the end of the last year before returning to Britain and their first official engagement of 2020 was to visit Canada House to say thank you for what they said had been an “unbelievable” welcome.
Their baby son, Archie, remained in Canada as Harry and Meghan returned to announce that they would step back from royal duties and build a more “progressive” role for themselves.
Meghan has now returned to Canada to be with her son, a spokeswoman said.
The couple – formally the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – said they had been reflecting for months before making the decision, which would see them divide their time between Britain and North America to allow them and Archie the space they needed.
They also said they intended to become financially independent.
The couple, who spoke of their struggles dealing with the intense media attention in a TV interview last October, revealed their decision to step back from royal duties on Instagram, leaving senior royals hurt and disappointed.
Discussion over the future had only been at a preliminary stage and neither the Queen nor Prince Charles – Harry’s father and heir to the throne – were consulted on the release of their statement or its contents, a royal source said.
“Queen fights to save monarchy”, the Daily Mirror said on its front page while the Sun tabloid spoke of “Crisis talks after couple defied Queen”.
While other members of the royal family have had paying jobs, it was not immediately clear how Harry, 35 and sixth in line to the throne, and Meghan, 38, could become what royal biographers said was effectively “half – royal” – and who would pay for their transatlantic lifestyles.
At the moment, nearly all of their income is provided by Charles’s Duchy of Cornwall