“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” the queen said in the new statement. “I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”
“I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family,” Her Majesty said, praising the former actor for her assimilation into royal life.
Buckingham Palace said Saturday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will drop their “royal highness” titles and no longer receive public funding as they step back from their royal duties.
They will also pay “commercial rent” on their U.K. home, Frogmore Cottage at Windsor Castle, and pay back the British public the $3.06 million spent on renovations for the home.
“It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life,” the queen added in her statement.
Meghan has faced incessant racist and sexist attacks since it was revealed she was dating Prince Harry. In November 2016, Rachel Johnson, sister of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, wrote a racist article that talked about Meghan’s “rich and exotic DNA.”
“If there is issue from her alleged union with Prince Harry, the Windsors will thicken their watery, thin blue blood and Spencer pale skin and ginger hair with some rich and exotic DNA. Miss Markle’s mother is a dreadlocked African-American lady from the wrong side of the tracks who lives in LA,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Mail.
Shortly after the article was published, Harry confronted the “wave of abuse and harassment” his girlfriend was facing, while simultaneously confirming for the first time that the two were dating.
The statement from Kensington Palace at the time spoke of the “smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.”
Things only got worse from there. After the two announced their engagement, the Daily Mail printed an article with an accompanying tweet that read, “From slaves to royalty, Meghan Markle’s upwardly mobile family.”
The harassment from trolls on Twitter never let up and neither did the stinging remarks from the tabloids. In September 2019, “60 Minutes Australia” was slammed for airing a racist segment that supposedly examined how “Meghan Markle lost her sparkle.”
“From adored to insufferable in less than a year. What went wrong for Meghan, and how it affects hubby Harry,” a tweet from the publication declared. It also gave far-right bigot Katie Hopkins a platform to call the Duchess of Sussex “a no one” and “the biggest hypocrite there is.”
The queen issued a statement earlier in the week saying that she is “entirely supportive” of Harry and Meghan’s new life, though “we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family.”