The Duchess of Sussex has returned to Canada to be with baby Archie as her husband attempts to do damage control with his family in the UK. It comes after Harry and Meghan made the shock announcement on Wednesday that they will step back from their royal roles and become financially independent.
After a six-week stay in Vancouver over the festive period, the couple have decided to divide their time living between the UK and Canada moving forward. A spokeswoman confirmed Meghan has now returned to Canada to take care of her eight-month-old son, who stayed with a nanny while his parents flew home to deliver the bombshell news to the royals. He is understood to have been in the care of Meghan’s best friend, Jessica Mulroney, who lives in Toronto. Meghan has returned to Canada to be with baby Archie.
According to the Mail Online, Prince Harry had planned to follow his wife back to Canada but has an engagement at Buckingham Palace next Thursday. It is believed Meghan didn’t plan to stay long after returning to their Frogmore Cottage home last weekend.
The couple are understood to have blindsided the Queen and other senior royals when they announced to the public that they wanted a more independent life. A royal source said the Queen had been ‘hurt’ by the couple’s decision to make a public statement, saying that talks had been at an ‘early stage’ the night before. It is understood the Queen responded by ordering all four royal households to find a ‘rapid’ solution ‘within days not weeks’.
A Buckingham Palace source said the royal family was working ‘at pace’ to sort the couple’s new situation. The Queen is said to have been ‘hurt’ by their public announcement.
The Duke and Duchess said in their statement: ‘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.’
The pair launched a new website following their statement, outlining their progressive new role, including an updated media policy and how they intend to fund themselves. But questions have been raised about their finances and where the media stands with reporting restrictions and access to their royal events.
It is understood Meghan hadn’t intended to stay long in the UK following the announcement.
The couple say they now intend to offer access to specially-invited media and dispense news via their own official communications and social media channels. It came after the Duke and Duchess had admitted their mental health was suffering as a result of intense media scrutiny from tabloid newspapers in an ITV documentary last year.
Prince Harry is not expected to be seen in public again until next Thursday, when he will do the draw for the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. Given the Queen’s timetable of ‘days’ it is likely they will want any talks concluded before Prince Charles travels to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories at the end of the month, to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau.