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The Queen has issued a statement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are no longer “full-time working members of the Royal Family” and expressed her regret at their decision.

Queen Elizabeth, 93, released a statement at 5pm just after the family’s two-hour Sandringham crisis summit over the Royal Sussexes’ future.

She said the discussions involving Prince Harry, Prince William, Prince Charles and their private secretaries, had left  “complex matters” still to be resolved but she supported and understood her grandson’s desire to lead a more independent life.

The statement said: “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my 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. 

“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.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.

“It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.

“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.”