Queen Says She Is 'Particularly Proud' Of Meghan Markle After Her and Prince Harry's Royal Exit

Queen Elizabeth II has said she is "particularly proud" of how quickly Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has become part of the family as it was announced that she and Harry, the Duke of Sussex, will stop carrying out royal duties in the spring.

Harry and Meghan had wished to "step back" from their roles as "senior" members of the royal family and instead "carve out a progressive new role within this institution."

But following a week of crisis talks, Buckingham Palace announced the Sussexes will no longer be working members of the royal family.

The palace said the couple will stop carrying out royal duties from the spring, will no longer use their HRH titles and will repay the taxpayer funds that were spent on Frogmore Cottage, their home in Berkshire, U.K.

The queen issued a statement on Saturday, saying she was "pleased" that a "constructive and supportive" way forward had been found.

She also said she recognized the "challenges" the couple had faced over the past two years and supported their wish for a "more independent life."

"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family," she said. "I recognize 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 singled out Meghan for praise, adding: "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." Harry and Meghan, a former actress, married in a lavish televised wedding in May 2018 and welcomed son Archie a year later.

"It is my whole family's hope that today's agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life," the queen added.

Queen Harry Meghan
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A statement from Buckingham Palace, issued on behalf of Harry and Meghan, said the couple understood they were "required" to step back from royal duties, including official military appointments.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives," it said.

"As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.

"With The Queen's blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."

The statement added that as the Sussexes will stop using their HRH titles—His or Her Royal Highness— from the spring as "they are no longer working members of the royal family.

It also added that the Sussexes "have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home."

Details about the security arrangements for the Sussexes were not outlined, but the statement added that there "are are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security."

In a post on the Sussexes' website on Saturday, the couple said information on their "roles and work" will be updated "in due course."

"We appreciate your patience and invite you to explore the site to see the current works of Their Royal Highnesses," the post added.

Last week, the queen announced she had agreed to a "period of transition" that will see Meghan and Harry split their time between the U.K. and Canada, where the Sussexes spent six weeks over the Christmas period with their son Archie.

It came after the Sussexes issued a bombshell statement earlier this month announcing that they wanted to step back as senior royals, stop receiving public funds so they could become financially independent and live in the U.K. and North America.

Queen Says She Is 'Particularly Proud' Of Meghan Markle After Her and Prince Harry's Royal Exit | World