The Queen says she has had “constructive” talks with other senior royals on the future of Prince Harry and Meghan and will allow the couple to spend time in Canada and the UK during a “period of transition”.
The final decision on how the couple will organise their time and finances will be made in the coming days, the monarch said in a statement released by Buckingham Palace.
The Queen said the Royal Family “respect and understand” the pair’s desire for a “new life” although they would have preferred for them to remain “full-time working members”.
And she has admitted there are still “complex matters” to be resolved.
It comes after Harry and Meghan said last Wednesday that they want to be financially independent and step back as senior royals.
Prince William has been seen leaving the Sandringham estate in Norfolk after the crisis talks, which involved the Queen, Prince Charles, William and Harry.
Meghan was expected to take part in the conversation via a conference call from Canada where she is looking after baby Archie.
The Queen said in her 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.
“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.”
The news comes after a joint statement from brothers William and Harry this morning, saying that an “offensive and potentially harmful” newspaper report about their relationship is false.
The statement is believed to have been in response to a story in The Times, alleging that the Sussexes felt “bullied” and unwelcome by William.
Reflecting on the words from the Queen today, Sky’s royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills said: “It’s important to reflect on the tone of the statement. I think you hear her as a grandmother as well as the head of this very important institution.”
She added: “We knew this meeting was going to be difficult for those four senior members of the Royal Family. It was the first time all four had met since Harry and Meghan released that statement without telling anyone that they wanted to step back as senior royals.
“The Queen has reflected on the fact that they are still important members of the family. But when we talk about the royal firm there are still very complex decisions that have to be made.”