The Queen’s Statement on the Sussexes’ Future

We are back with an update on plans for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s future as well as Archie’s. As most readers know there was a meeting at Sandringham this afternoon that included HM, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry. There were also reports the Duchess, who is in Canada, would join the meeting by telephone. Below, the gates at the entrance to Sandringham this afternoon.

Not long after the meeting broke up and the royals were seen departing the estate, the Queen released a statement.

Much has been made of the highly personal tone of the statement, written in the first person. One of the more striking elements to me (Susan K.) was how many times The Queen used the word “family” in the statement. For this is a family crisis and family business issue as much as it is anything else. There are also multiple references to the couple by their first names, but in the fourth paragraph HM also says, “the Sussexes”. Much is being read into this. The reality is that we are not going to know of the true significance, if any, until more specifics about Meghan and Harry’s future are revealed. Here are additional thoughts from Victoria Murphy’s story in Town & Country:

Notable, too, is the Queen’s staggeringly informal use of “Harry and Meghan.” Much has already been made of whether the Sussex’s will retain titles in their new roles; however, the use of first names in this statement primarily serves to reminds us that this came a grandmother writing about the future happiness of members of her family. The ultimate goal, she said, was to help them “live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family”.

Here is a recap of what we do know:

  • The Duchess is in Canada with the couple’s baby, Archie, and Meghan’s labrador and beagle.
  • Last week the Queen is said to have stressed that she wanted decisions made and the situation resolved within days, rather than weeks.
  • Working out details between governments about security for the couple, taxes, and other issues is likely to take longer than ‘days,’ as the issues are just too complex to be resolved that quickly.
  • The matter of royal business activities is also extremely involved. The most recent guidelines were written in 2001 and require all business activities to be approved by the most senior member of the Queen’s household. The Lord Chamberlain, the Earl Peel, currently holds that position. (If interested in more info, this story has quite a bit of information.)
  • Whatever the final arrangements are, they may also impact future generations in the ‘slimmed-down monarchy’ Prince Charles plans to implement when he is the monarch.

Earlier today Princes William and Harry joined together for a statement about a Times of London story (the story is behind a paywall). The article quoted a source saying that the Duke and Duchess felt they were being pushed away by a “bullying attitude from Prince William.” Below, the statement:

Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge.

For the brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.

Those looking for clues from the couple about their immediate future on the Sussex Royal website will be disappointed, at least as of this writing. The site was launched last Wednesday and there is no new content that we have noted.

The site is divided into sections titled “Supporting Community,” seen above. The “Serving the Monarchy” landing page is shown below.

And there is a “Strengthening the Commonwealth” section.

There is also an About page featuring a photo of the couple last October in New Zealand. 

As well as pages covering Meghan and Harry’s Media Policy and Funding.

The site’s clean, crisp look was designed by Toronto-based Article, the same company that did Meghan’s lifestyle blog, The Tig.

We have been asked how the changes will impact What Meghan Wore. At this point, we don’t foresee significant changes to our coverage. We will continue to chronicle Meghan’s style and charitable work. We believe the events unfolding since last Wednesday merit coverage because they impact so many elements of the Duke and Duchess’s lives, transcending our usual ‘stick to fashion’ perspective.

It may be some time before we see Meghan at an official engagement, but do expect the couple to continue updating things via their Instagram page and website.

Obviously, this is an extraordinary set of circumstances that is painful for all involved. We would ask that any comments be respectful and constructive.

The one other tidbit today involves our new look for the site. We hope some of the new features will be useful and also appealing. Susan Courter will have more details on those elements in a future post. Because we felt strongly we needed to post about today’s events we hastened the process to migrate everything to the new site and there are some details we are still working on. Do let us know your thoughts, we always appreciate the input!

 

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Meghan’s stepping away from the royal life has mostly highlighted to me the responsibilities that the royals have. While I understand that they want for nothing in terms of material goods, they do sacrifice in that they have very public lives and are expected to take on the responsibilities and obligations that come with their title. Meghan must have been fully informed of this prior to her marriage to Harry. And, she had a very clear role model in her contemporary and sister-in-law, Duchess of Cambridge.

    As an American, it always flummoxed me how Meghan, fellow American, actress, fully independent woman, could embrace a royal role. Royalty, though intriguing to Americans, is quite foreign to our sensibility of rugged individualism and wide open spaces, free of thrones and titles and heredity lines. Meghan seems a resourceful, ambitious woman who will find a way to land on her feet. I hope the best for Harry and Meghan going forward.

  2. Love the new site! Looking forward to the future here; perhaps omitting the crown from the logo(s) would be wise, now that they’ve relenquished HRH.

    • Hi Sarah, The crown in our logo is something the we’ve discussed. As we all know, The Duke and Duchess will retain HRH per the Queen, they just won’t use HRH after Spring. At this point, we have no intentions of removing it from the logo as we’re going to wait and see how things pan out over the next month or so. It’s something we may revisit come Spring. Thanks, The Susans

  3. Thank you for the beautiful new site! My favorite aspect is that I can view instantly whether there is a new post, without the need to scroll down. Thank you also for this post, allowing the WMW community to respectfully express itself. I wish Meghan and Harry well as they forge a new path, which I hope will not only increase their well-being, but also widen their positive influence on others around the globe.

  4. I think that Meghan was sincere in her interview in the fall regarding how much more difficult it has been for her than she expected. Her distress has caused Harry to worry about the security of their family. It will be a relief for them to be away from the tabloids that make money by misleading people about the truth of any given matter. I think they have been hurt by comments about how they have used public money and want to be free of this. I am sorry for their family and all of us who believe the Royal Family are a helpful force in the world. I also love seeing what Meghan wears!
    I wish for them and their extended family reconciliation and renewed unity. Bless the Queen.

  5. First off, the new site looks wonderful! I can’t imagine how much hard work went into it. And thanks for all your hard work throughout the years covering Meghan and Harry, her fashion, and the charitable endeavors.

    The announcement has been surprising with the timing but for me not shocking. I suspected something like this was coming when they announced their 6 week break. I think it has been clear since the beginning the odds have been stacked against Meghan, way before the Sussexes got engaged. Prince Harry’s office issued a statement to the press right around the time the news broke he was dating Meghan (here’s a refresher on that historic November 2016 statement: https://www.royal.uk/statement-communications-secretary-prince-harry). Harry had no qualms pointing out the racism Meghan faced back in 2016. Even female UK politicians banded together to write a letter last fall in support of Meghan pointing out the “colonial undertones” (a thinly veiled reference to racism) aimed at her by the UK tabloids. And I really can’t blame Meghan and Harry for not wanting to raise their child in that kind of environment and I can’t imagine the stress Meghan must have faced during her pregnancy.

    This is a difficult situation for everyone involved and I can’t imagine what the family dynamics are like behind closed doors. I just hope everyone has time to heal once enough time passes and that any rift that may exist may be bridged at some point.

  6. First time commenter, long time reader (since the beginning coming from WKW!). Thank you for all the hard work you all put in. This corner of the internet has become my sanctuary.

    Appreciate your kind acknowledgment of this unprecedented situation. I don’t want to comment any further as I too would like to “stick to fashion” only. I remain hopeful that all parties can continue to work together to find a mutually beneficial solution.

    I mainly wanted to chime in that I’m loving the new look of the site! However, I do miss the “Iconic looks” and “Favorite Brands” pages. I am crossing my fingers that their absence means that they are also being updated. Susan, will you be bringing them back? It was a unique feature that can’t be found on other Megan related blogs

    • Hi Lucky, if you look under the drop down menu for “Shop Meghan’s Wardrobe” you will find many of the items are still intact. We did not have an “Iconic looks” section but rather we did have a Meg Loved Labels. As we work to iron out the Wardrobe section we’ll be adding some items back in and realigning some of the old. I’ll have a short overview guide for readers up in a day or so to explain what’s what and and some new features. Thanks! Susan C.

  7. Thank you for the update. I appreciate the respectful tone and reminding us that this is a family matter within a family business.
    Dynamics often change once we have spouses and children. What we think will be our next steps and roles may not be the reality. Sometimes it doesn’t meet expectations any longer. We have to be willing to allow every person to do as they feel is best for their families and appreciate your site being respectful of this process.

  8. Very nicely handled, Susan. I was surprised by the announcement, but I am not in a position to doubt that they know what is best for their own family. I am glad to know that you will continue fashion coverage; I had been wondering.

  9. Thanks for posting this. I feel for the entire family. It’s truly heartbreaking. I think that we will see more of them. It doesn’t sound to me that they are planning on breaking with any of their patronages. I think things will clear up in the coming weeks.

    I adore the new site!

  10. I love the new look of the site and the easier navigation. Well done. As for the Sussexes and the larger Royal family, I wish them the best. Family dynamics are hard enough to work through without the world watching and chiming in. Add the weird financial aspect to it and it’s bound to get even messier. I hope they can find a peaceful solution for all parties. Families are important.

  11. I’m very much liking the new look for your site!! It’s very crisp, clean and fresh, what a nice way to start the new year and a new decade!

  12. I like the new look of this site and find it helpful that we’ll now know when new comments are posted, without having to scroll to the comments to realize this. It was surprising to see this recent entry, given that we’ve been told content and comments are limited to fashion and charitable works. But obviously the recent announcement is an exception.

    Whatever one thinks about the topic, most people want Harry and Meghan to do what they feel is best for their family. I hesitate to give my own personal opinion, because debating the issue here is not productive and likely not allowed. Possibly it is safe to say, that many of us are disappointed and sorry that there is so much angst around the decision. It will be intriguing to find out what being a part time royal means. It was heartwarming that the Queen’s emphasis was on family, over business.

    As a Canadian, I can understand the appeal to reside in our country. This is a very good place to live. While Canadians will be welcoming to Harry and Meghan, many have stated that they do not want tax money used for their security. Many who have been waiting years to sponsor family members to immigrate to Canada, will be angry if Harry and Meghan seem to jump the waiting line. Also, and this is a point that has barely been mentioned, The Nickel Resolution of 1919, reaffirmed by the governments of Lester Pearson, W.L. Mackenzie King and Brian Mulroney, effectively bans foreign titles of nobility for Canadian citizens and anyone “domiciled or living in Canada.”

    Time will tell how this will all play out. I wish Harry and Meghan happiness going forward.

    • I could be wrong here, but for some reason I thought Meghan already had Canadian citizenship from the all time she lived in Canada, filming Suits, etc. If I find any further information on that I’ll share it. Thanks, SC

      • I have never seen anything implying that she has Canadian citizenship. More than likely she had a nonimmigrant work visa to work on the US produced show filmed in Canada. She probably would have had enough cumulative time to apply for residency, if Canada allows you to go from a nonimmigrant to immigrant status. The US doesn’t allow it for most work visa categories (however there are exception categories). Problem would be that her official residency has been in Britain since 2017, a break in residency, which again, similar to the US, would cause problems with her applying. However, if they plan to split time between Canada and Britain there’s no immigration issue. Both U.S. Citizens and British Citizens can stay in Canada up to 6 months without requiring visas as “visitors.” You can own property as U.S./British citizen visitor and you’re only barred from working in the country. Doesn’t bar them working for their charity that’s based in another country. But they’re still other immigration issues. Part of becoming a royal required her to apply for British citizenship. If she doesn’t complete the required continuous time in the country, I would think that could put her formal title in jeopardy? Of course she can refer to herself as the Duchess of Sussex, but it wouldn’t be legally recognized. And Canada forbids it as well as Bonnie mentioned. Some countries require potential residents and/or citizens to renounce any foreign royal titles to accept residency/citizenship. The U.S. doesn’t require it for Permanent Residence, but does require it for those seeking Citizenship. Sorry for the long explanation, but I’m a U.S. immigration paralegal, so a topic I’m both familiar and fascinated in this particular situation. I also spend quite a bit of time in Canada (which I adore) and our family has looked at becoming permanent residence there.

        • Hi Kat, great to have your expert and educated take on this. You will see from my comments above and below yours, that we are thinking along the same lines…only your speak with authority, due to your profession. It would seem that other than being visitors to Canada, Harry and Meghan will have to go through the process to make things more permanent. It sounds like people assumed they could just move to Canada without any glitches…perhaps they assumed this themselves. Although there are 53 counties in the Commonwealth, people aren’t free to move from one to the other. I even needed a visa to visit India, although we have been Commonwealth partners for decades.

      • The consensus seems to be that Meghan doesn’t hold Canadian citizenship and it is doubtful that she has Permanent Resident Status in Canada. She was likely in the country to film “Suits”, on a work visa.
        From the National Post:
        “Canada will not automatically grant the royal couple citizenship, and they would need to apply to become permanent residents through the normal immigration process, Mathieu Genest, a spokesperson for the immigration minister, told the CBC in a statement.
        That means Prince Harry will be entering Canada as any other British citizen would, and all British citizens can stay in Canada for up to six months without a visa. It’s the same for U.S. citizens. So Harry and Meghan’s short-term plan could simply be to travel back and forth between Canada and the U.K. at least twice a year — although that would put Meghan’s application for British citizenship at risk.

  13. Love the updated look at this site and appreciate your coverage of Harry & Meghan’s plans for creating an evolved path for their family.

    I say 3 cheers for them, wishing them the best and hope to follow their works (and fashion!) on this site.

  14. Excellent coverage of the Royals current challenges involving dramatic changes to a structured institution, very balanced and easy to read overview of the current situation, best I have read, well done.
    Your whole site is fantastic and it will be interesting to follow how everything unfolds here regarding Meghan’s clothing choices and public appearances from now onwards. She probably faces even more intense media scrutiny now.
    I agree with comments made by LEE N – wondering if Meghan will ever represent the Queen again – my personal opinion is that she has clearly made her decision on her future which seems to be in Canada – it would be difficult to back track now and I think the Queen will have to make a very clear distinction between “working royal” and “family” also the other concern is the possible cashing in on royal titles – if they are so determined that royal life is not really for them I do hope they drop the duke/duchess titles.
    I think it will be a rocky road but wish them all well and like everyone will be curious as to how it turns out over time. It is a huge change to Harry’s life!

  15. Thank you for the coverage. I just can’t understand the vitriol of the British press. The Sussex website is pretty clear that they want to continue representing the Monarchy and demonstrating respect for Her Majesty by furthering good works all around the world. However, the only tidbit the press seems to harp on is that they want to leave the UK. As well, Meghan is blamed far more for virtually everything. I’m pretty sure that this couple has tried to demonstrate that they are united during all their public outings. Being from Vancouver, Canada, I say, WELCOME to the Sussexes!

  16. I am pleased about the way you covered this- focusing on both the Queen’s very warm statement, as well as Harry and William’s statement together, how the language from the Royal Family emphasizes unity and family. You were also very sensitive to the emotional cost of this to everyone involved, and the fact that this was surely a difficult decision for Harry and Meghan. Lots of difficult discussions ahead, I’m sure, but hopefully everyone will emerge feeling happy and at peace with the decisions made.

  17. I’m so glad you chimed in! I figured that in so far Meghan continues in public life and appearances that there would be fashion to cover. Wishing them all well in things out in a way that is satisfying and respectful as possible to all involved.

    And I like the new design! Crisper and cleaner. I hope Meghan would approve!

  18. Thank you Susan for your as always pertinent and balanced writing. I Just wanted to say I really feel for all the Royals involved; family relationships always have bumps in the road, and it would be a whole different level of pressure knowing this is playing out on the world stage.

  19. Thankyou for the update. Lets hope that H and M find happiness and settle away from the nastiness and often thoughtless comments from the social media keyboard warriors. None of us can appreciate what it is to live in a fishbowl when the outer community even nitpick at something as simple of how your hair falls over your face or the height of a shoe. Time for everyone to take a good hardlook at how we respond to a person’s appearance. Be nice, be kind and if you want to criticise keep your comments to yourself.

  20. It will be interesting to see when and if Meghan ever makes another appearance in the UK as a representative of HM. The tenor of their statement last week left little doubt about her attitude regarding participation in what is admittedly not usually the most thrilling of royal assignments. Given that reluctance, I suspect it will take an actress far more talented than she has so far demonstrated herself to be to appear engaged, engaging and anything other than working under duress. Today’s conference was the first step; I think the future will involve many more decisions that are less of the knee-jerk sort that seem to indicate a large degree of capitulation on HM’s part.

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