Over the weekend, Prince Harry and the Queen sat down for a one-on-one lunch at Windsor Castle, People magazine reports.
It was the first time that Harry and his grandmother met up since he relocated to Canada with wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie, 9 months.
A source told The Sun, “Sunday was the first time the Queen has had the chance to talk to Harry on his own and really find out what his plans are. It was a much more relaxed environment and they were both able to speak their mind.”
“The Queen had a lot to talk to Harry about and this was the ideal time for them to both say their piece,” the insider added. “When Harry and Meghan announced they wanted to quit it all happened very quickly and it was very stressful for all concerned.
“She made it very clear to him that he and Meghan are always able to come back if they change their minds and she will welcome them with open arms,” another source added. “Hopefully the chat cleared the air and the way forward is looking more positive.”
Meghan is expected to fly into London in the next days for their final royal engagements.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will officially be done with their royal duties on March 31.
Effective on April 1, the pair will no longer have an office at Buckingham Palace.
Their spokesperson told People magazine in a statement, “The Duke and Duchess will be spending their time in both the United Kingdom and North America. In addition to continuing to work closely with their existing patronages as they build a plan for engagements in the U.K. and the Commonwealth throughout the year, The Duke and Duchess have also been undertaking meetings as part of their ongoing work to establish a new non-profit organization. The details of this new organization will be shared later in the year.
“In general, the themes of their cause related work will remain unchanged, which includes the Commonwealth, community, youth empowerment and mental health, collectively,” the spokesperson continued. “As there is no precedent for this new model of working and eventual financial independence, the Royal Family and The Sussexes have agreed to an initial 12-month review to ensure the arrangement works for all parties.”
In January, Harry and Meghan made the shocking announcement that they were stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family. They wrote on Instagram, “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.”
After a two-hour emergency meeting with Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles to discuss the matter, the Queen said in a statement, “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.”
She went on, "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.”
After reaching an agreement, the Queen said in a separate statement, “Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family."
"I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life," she continues, going on to say, "I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family." In closing, the Queen asserts, "It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life."
As part of the agreement, Harry and Meghan will give up their His Royal Highness and Her Royal Highness titles — and will repay all funds used to refurbish their home, Frogmore Cottage, which is where they will continue to live when in the UK.