After days of press speculation over the British monarch's reaction to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's shock announcement that they were planning to step down as senior members of the royal family, the Queen has now — officially — spoken.
In a statement released Monday by Buckingham Palace following an afternoon of talks between the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry (with Markle reportedly dialing in), the Queen said her family had had "very constructive discussions" regarding the future of her grandson and his family.
"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family," she said. "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."
She acknowledged that the royal couple didn't want to "be reliant on public funds in their new lives," and claimed an agreement had been reached for a "period of transition," where they would split their time between Canada, where Markle once lived, and the U.K.
"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," she concluded.
News of the couple's "Megxit" — as it has been coined in the U.K. — has sparked wall-to-wall coverage across British media and worldwide since it was announced Wednesday.
Commentators have argued that the decision was made in order to escape the relentless scrutiny they faced from the notorious U.K. tabloids, which have been heavily criticized for their attitude towards Markle since her relationship with Prince Harry was first made public.
However, media experts have suggested that life outside the royal family might not be any less private, but could open up lucrative options for the pair should they seek to commercialize their star power.
Markle has already reportedly signed with Disney to do the voiceover on an unnamed project, in return for a donation to the conservation charity Elephants Without Borders. Disney hasn't confirmed the deal.