Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, has gone back to Canada to be with their son after the couple provoked a rift with Britain’s royal family by unexpectedly announcing they would be stepping back from their roles to spend more time in North America.
Queen Elizabeth and other senior British royals were trying to calm the crisis by thrashing out a plan for Harry and Meghan after the couple blindsided the family by going public with their announcement without consultation.
The couple spent six weeks in Canada at the end of last year before returning to Britain and their first official engagement of 2020 was to visit Canada House to say thank you for what they said had been an “unbelievable” welcome.
Their baby son, Archie, remained in Canada as Harry and Meghan returned to announce that they would step back from royal duties and build a more “progressive” role for themselves.
The couple – formally the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – said they had been reflecting for months before making the decision, which would see them divide their time between Britain and North America to allow them and Archie the space they needed.
They also said they intended to become financially independent.
The couple, who spoke of their struggles dealing with the intense media attention in a TV interview last October, revealed their decision to step back from royal duties on Instagram, leaving senior royals hurt and disappointed.
Discussions over the future had only been at a preliminary stage and neither the queen nor Prince Charles – Harry’s father and heir to the throne – were consulted on the release of their statement or its contents, a royal source said.
As the crisis engulfed the Windsors, aides who work for the queen, Charles, and Harry’s elder brother William were trying to find a solution.