Although the royal summit is over, Prince Harry hasn’t left the UK to reunite with wife Meghan Markle and son Archie Harrison. The Duke of Sussex has remained in the country because he has an engagement at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, January 16. The dad of one, who is patron of the Rugby Football League, is set to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men's, women’s and wheelchair tournaments at the Queen’s London residence. The outing will mark Harry’s first public engagement since his and the Duchess’ bombshell announcement to step back as senior royals.
Meghan returned to Canada last Thursday. The former American actress had left her eight-month-old son in the country while she and Harry briefly returned to London to visit Canada House. Canada-based Meghan did not dial into Monday’s Sandringham summit with her husband, Prince Charles, Prince William and Queen Elizabeth. A palace source told HOLA! USA’s sister brand HELLO!: "The Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for The Duchess to join."
Following the royal meeting on January 13, Buckingham Palace released a statement from the Queen voicing her support for the couple to create a new life. “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” Her Majesty said. “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,” the Queen continued. “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.”
Throughout her statement, the monarch referenced the word “family” eight times and did not use her grandson and granddaughter-in-law’s formal royal titles. Instead of the “Duke and Duchess of Sussex,” the Queen simply referred to the pair as “Harry and Meghan.” Her Majesty’s statement came less than a week after the royal couple announced their shocking decision to step back as senior members of the royal family. In their personal message, the Duke and Duchess expressed their desire to “carve out a progressive new role within” the monarchy and balance their time between the UK and Canada.