British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says senior royals, like Prince William and Harry, will be able to find an amicable way forward, in a Jan. 13, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

UK leader: Royal rift over Harry-Meghan plans can be settled

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday he believes the royal family can resolve a serious rift over the plans of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, who want to break free of their royal roles and move to Canada.

The plans of Harry and Meghan, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, have received tentative approval from Queen Elizabeth II, who said she and other senior royals regret the decision but understand and respect it.

Vital details remain to be worked out, with difficult issues to resolve, and Canada’s leader has raised questions as well, but the British prime minister told the BBC that the monarchy will be able to find solutions.

“My view on this is very straightforward: I am a massive fan, like most of our viewers, of the queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country,” Johnson said. “I’m absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out.”

He said the senior royals, who had a crisis summit Monday afternoon at the queen’s palatial Sandringham House retreat in eastern England, will be able to find an amicable way forward “much more easily without a running commentary from politicians.”

Harry and Meghan ignited the latest crisis by unilaterally issuing a statemen t Wednesday indicating a desire to step back from most royal duties and become financially independent. They have decided to spend at least part of their time in Canada, a Commonwealth country where the queen is head of state and Meghan worked for seven years while filming the TV series “Suits.”

The move annoyed senior royals who had not been consulted, sparking the so-called Sandringham summit that brought together the 93-year-old queen, her eldest son and heir Prince Charles, and Prince William, who would follow his father Charles to the throne, along with Harry.

Few details emerged, but the queen’s statement afterwards indicates the family won’t seek to block Harry and Meghan’s bid for independence from royal roles they clearly find restrictive.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking after the queen made clear the couple has chosen Canada as its alternate destination, said his country welcomes the news but has issues to discuss, including the possible cost to taxpayers of providing security for the well-known royal couple.

“I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have,” he told Canadian TV, adding that no formal talks between the British and Canadian governments have been held.

Britain’s royals are protected by a special unit of London’s Metropolitan Police, also known as Scotland Yard, at a cost that is not made public because of concerns that details about its operation could compromise the royals’ safety.

In addition to cost concerns, it is likely that special arrangements would have to be made to allow London police to operate on a long-term deployment in Canada.

Many financial questions remain. The queen says Harry and Meghan don’t plan to use public funds when they step back from royal duties, so it is possible they may be asked to pay for security out of their own pockets.

The royals seem to be adopting a “go slow” attitude toward the breakaway couple, with the queen talking about a period of transition.

Harry and Meghan have declared that one of their goals is to become financially independent. It is not known if they will continue to receive financial support from Harry’s father, Prince Charles, who uses income from the Duchy of Cornwall estate to support a variety of royal activities. The estate generated more than 20 million pounds ($26 million) last year.

Harry and Meghan have announced plans to launch a major charitable institution in the coming year, but details haven’t been made public. In the past they have focused on female empowerment, wildlife protection, ending the stigma surrounding mental health problems and other issues.

They just took a six-week vacation in western Canada with their infant son Archie. Meghan has returned to Canada after a brief visit to London last week.

By The Associated Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

‘A little love can go a long way,’ says a Red Deer opioid user who supports overdose prevention

The OPS means higher survival rates and less needle debris, he adds

Firefighters tackle blaze in Royal Canadian Legion building

Firefighters got call of light smoke about 4:25 p.m.

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Pearman: Bohemian Waxwings the consummate nomads

It is always a treat when a winter flock of Bohemian waxwings… Continue reading

Shots from stands, women’s 3-on-3 highlight NHL skills event

ST. LOUIS — Shooting pucks from the stands and some of the… Continue reading

Canada beats U.S. in 3-on-3 women’s game at NHL all-star skills competition

ST. LOUIS — Melodie Daoust and Rebecca Johnston scored to give Canada… Continue reading

Lowry, Siakam lead Raptors past Knicks for 6th straight win

Raptors 118 Knicks 112 NEW YORK — Kyle Lowry scored 26 points,… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Most Read