Queen declares back to business hours after Meghan Markle and Harry summit

The Queen has hosted “very constructive discussions” yesterday at Sandringham House, focused on the future of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But she has already signalled their likely change of status won’t prevent her from carrying out her duty as a monarch. 

This morning, the Queen’s press office revealed the monarch had extended an invitation for a state visit to the Japanese Emperor and Empress.

And, as announced, they have accepted the trip and will travel to the UK in the spring.

The statement read: “Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan have accepted an invitation from Her Majesty The Queen to pay a State Visit to the United Kingdom in Spring 2020.

“Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress (Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako) will stay at Windsor Castle.” 

Further details regarding this state visit will be released in due course.

During her 67-year-long reign, the Queen has met three emperors.

In 1972, the then Emperor Hirohito and his wife Empress Kojun made a state visit to the UK.

Almost three decades later, in 1998, the current emperor’s parents, Akihito and Michiko, who stepped down as heads of state in May last year, carried out another state visit.

The now Emperor Emeritus and Empress Emerita paid two more visits to the Queen, in 2007 and 2012.

The Queen only travelled to Japan for one state visit, in May 1975, with Prince Philip by her side.

This announcement comes just a few hours after the Queen informed royal fans and commentators of the outcome of her summit in Sandringham attended by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry.

The Duchess of Sussex is believed to have attended part of the meeting by calling from Canada, where she returned on Thursday.

Following the end of the summit, which is believed to have started at approximately 2pm, the Queen announced progress have been made – but there are still “complex matters” to resolve.

The statement read: “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.”

The meeting was called after Meghan and Harry announced their intention to step back as senior royals.

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex desire to become financially independent and no longer be full-time working royals.

This new status could allow them to pursue private projects and live between North America and the UK.    

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