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Prince Harry and Meghan's Decision Is News to the Queen

Royal announcement suggests withdrawal is still being negotiated
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2020 7:30 PM CST
Updated Jan 9, 2020 3:00 AM CST
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Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, watch a flypast of Royal Air Force flyover at Buckingham Palace in London in 2018.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

(Newser) – The announcement by Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, that they plan to at least partially withdraw from royal duties surprised many—including, apparently, the queen. Harry didn't discuss the matter with Queen Elizabeth or any other member of Britain's royal family first, the BBC reports. That's left Harry's relatives disappointed and hurt. And it sounds like the issue isn't definitively decided after all. "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage," according to a royal statement. "We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through." A Buckingham Palace spokesman said, "Nothing is being ruled or ruled out," per Fox News.

Palace officials used the word "disappointed," which a royal correspondent called a strong rebuke, possibly more about the way the matter was handled than about the decision itself. It seems to confirm a "major rift" between the couple and the rest of the family, the BBC reporter said. If the decision to "step back" stands, Harry and Meghan could remain involved in the parts of royal life they enjoy, such as family events and those helpful to the queen, while removing themselves from other aspects, per CNN. First, though, Harry might have to patch things up with his sovereign and disappointed grandmother. (Read more Prince Harry stories.)

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