Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex gesture during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, on January 7, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, might have won the approval of the queen to move to Canada, but the country’s prime minister said there are “still lots of discussions to have” over the plans.
Speaking to Canadian television network Global News on Monday, Justin Trudeau said there were still details to iron, both in the U.K. and Canada, including security costs.
“There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the Royal Family, by the Sussexes themselves as to what level of engagement they choose to have,” Trudeau said. “We are obviously supportive of their reflections but have responsibilities in that as well.”
“We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be,” he added. Trudeau said the federal government had not been consulted about the move up until now and that the costs would have to be assessed.
“I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have,” Trudeau said. “There is a general feeling of appreciation for the Sussexes.”
Trudeau’s comments came after a royal showdown Monday afternoon with senior royals gathered in the queen’s Norfolk estate, Sandringham, to discuss Meghan and Harry’s shock announcement last week that they were to step back from their positions as “senior royals.” The couple want to work to become financially independent and split their time between the U.K. and Canada.
Harry had face-to-face talks with the queen, Prince Charles and Prince William with Meghan reportedly joining the discussions by phone from Canada.
The queen, who was reportedly not consulted ahead of the announcement and was said to be disappointed by the decision, issued a statement in which she said a “period of transition” had been agreed with Harry and Meghan.
“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,” the statement noted, adding: “It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the U.K.”
Details over how the couple will achieve financial autonomy and who will foot the bill for their security retinue are still unclear. The queen ended her statement noting that there were “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 couple had spent Christmas on Vancouver Island and Meghan, who has previously lived in Canada, is now reportedly back in British Columbia with the couple’s son, Archie.