Although Queen Elizabeth has revealed that while she would have preferred that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle remain senior working royals, she’s also been unwavering in her public support of the couple.
Five days after a royal family summit, which saw the monarch meet with Prince Charles, Prince William and the Duke of Sussex at her Sandringham estate, the Queen spoke warmly of Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, as she revealed the conclusions to the family discussions.
“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the monarch said in a statement on Saturday, going on to give their 8-month-old son Archie a sweet shout-out.
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life. I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family,” the statement read. “It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”
The new change will take effect in Spring 2020, according to a separate statement from Buckingham Palace.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” the statement said, noting that the couple will no longer be receiving public funds for royal duties or using their HRH titles “as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.“
Additionally, it was revealed that the couple, who will be splitting time between North America and the U.K., will retain their Frogmore Cottage residence as their family home — and will be reimbursing the Sovereign Grant for recent renovation costs.
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The Queen previously shared a rare and emotional statement following the royal family’s 90-minute discussion on Jan. 13.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the Queen said in a statement. “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.”
A palace source told PEOPLE in this week’s cover story that when Meghan and Harry welcomed son Archie on May 6, “they knew they were going to hit the nuclear button.”
“When Meghan came around and she was interested in making changes, he welcomed it,” said a friend. When Archie was born, the couple’s focus shifted even more to “doing what’s right for their family,” added another friend
Meghan is currently back in Canada with the couple’s 8-month-old son after a brief return across the pond just before the couple made their bombshell announcement. Meanwhile, Harry is still in the U.K.