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Harry and Meghan edge closer to life in Canada

By EARLE GALE | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-01-15 09:30
Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan want to start a new life with their son Archie. [TOBY MELVILLE/REUTERS]

Queen gives reluctant blessing, says couple to have a 'period of transition'

Canada's prime minister has welcomed the prospect of Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan moving to the country after they "step back" from royal duties.

But Justin Trudeau said further negotiations will be needed to figure out how they will be protected, and who should pay for it.

He spoke after the duke and duchess of Sussex indicated they want to effectively leave the royal family and pursue private lives in Canada.

Trudeau told the Global News television station that ordinary Canadians have been "very supportive" of the couple's plan, but noted that issues remain over "how that looks and what kind of costs are involved".

"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," he said.

Britain's prime minister also said more work needs to be done to figure out the couple's living arrangements but told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday morning the problems will be ironed out. Boris Johnson also said he believes the royal family to be one of the "great, great assets of this country".

"I think they'll sort it out all the easier without any commentary from me," he added.

Last week, Harry and Meghan declared their desire to give up full-time royal duties and indicated that they want to raise their son, Archie, in North America. They had talked in the past about the difficulties of royal life and complained about the glare of media attention.

On Monday, Harry attended a meeting at Sandringham House with his grandmother and other senior royals. The house, in the English county of Norfolk, is the queen's private home.

After the gathering, the queen issued a statement saying she "would have preferred" it if Harry and Meghan, who married in May 2018, had remained full-time working royals but that she backed their right to pursue their own lives. The statement said there would be a "period of transition" and suggested additional announcements would follow.

"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family," the queen said.

She noted that Harry and Meghan had made it clear "that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives", suggesting they intend to generate enough income to pay for their protection, something the Evening Standard newspaper says will cost around 1 million pounds ($1.3 million) a year.

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