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Queen spoke ‘as a grandmother’ on Harry and Meghan future, says royal author

The monarch said the royal family respected and understood their wishes to start a more independent life.

The Queen and her grandson Harry (Julian Simmonds/The Daily Telegraph/PA)
The Queen and her grandson Harry (Julian Simmonds/The Daily Telegraph/PA)

By Laura Elston, PA Court Reporter

The Queen’s statement was from the perspective of a grandmother, carefully handling a vulnerable Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a royal author has said.

Penny Junor described the monarch’s words on the future of Harry and Meghan as “friendly and warm”.

The Queen, after a crisis summit with Harry, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge at Sandringham, said the royal family supported the couple’s desire to create a new life, but would have preferred them to be full-time royals.

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Harry and Meghan with the royals (Yui Mok/PA)

The pair, who do not want to be publicly funded, will have a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK, but final decisions will also be reached in the coming days.

“I think it’s a positive statement. It sounds friendly and warm, the way the Queen talks about family so much,” Junor said.

“That she’s supportive of their decision is really good news.”

She added: “It read to me like a grandmother talking about the family.”

The royal writer said it gave the couple space to find their perspective.

“I think it will take the pressure off them. I think they’re in a very vulnerable state at the moment. I think they’re unhappy, they feel isolated and unloved, unappreciated and they needed careful handling,” she said.

“My reading from that statement is that the family has been sensitive to their vulnerability.”

Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, believes the Queen’s statement, which uses the word “family” eight times, was intended to be “very gentle and very informal”.

“It’s just the way it’s written is extremely informal, and I think that’s to make it very friendly,” the royal biographer told the PA news agency.

“And I think it’s quite gentle. And I think that’s probably the whole approach, it’s gently, gently. And interestingly enough, she keeps mentioning family, the whole way through.

“It’s certainly not Oscar Wilde. But I just think it’s a very together and quite loose statement and obviously it’s just to keep everybody happy moving forward.”

Asked about the next steps following the statement, Ms Seward said: “She said in the coming days, so that’s very quick for the royal family.

“I think we’ll be hearing more quite shortly – I think this is a bridge.”

PA

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