PRINCE HARRY and Meghan Markle are in the midst of discussions with the Queen on their intentions to step back as senior royals and split their time between North America and the UK, but what is one rule which could spoil the Sussexes plans?
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry are pushing forward with their plans to spend more time in Canada and step back as senior members of the Royal Family. Senior royals are in discussion alongside their households to find a “workable solution” to the Sussexes plans within days.
Meghan has returned to Canada and has been spotted out visiting the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center in Vancouver.
She is in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie while Harry remained in the UK to continue discussions with the Royal Family on his family’s future.
Harry will today undertake his first engagement since the news of him and Meghan stepping back.
The Duke will host the draws for next year’s Rugby League World Cup at Buckingham Palace this afternoon.
Prince Harry news: Harry and Meghan have plans to move to Canada (Image: GETTY)
Prince Harry news: Harry was out for the first time since the announcement he would leave his senior royal position (Image: GETTY)
The Queen has issued a statement in support of her grandson’s plan to step back, despite saying she “would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family.”
Now talks between the royal households are underway to facilitate Meghan and Harry’s transition.
In their initial statement, the couple said they would work towards becoming “financially independent”.
Prince Harry news: Meghan has returned to Canada to be with their son Archie (Image: GETTY)
However, they will not be able to earn any money this way, so to work in Canada the couple would need to seek residency with the right to work in the country.
However the matter of their security and the extent of their role within the Royal Family – including their patronages and charity work – is up for discussion.
There is not much detail on how much time the Sussexes will spend in Canada, or how they plan to fund themselves outside of the Royal Family’s funds, however, their wish to be treated as private citizens may come sooner as they thought.
In order to move to Canada, the couple will have to pass through immigration and Canada’s government has made it clear there will be no royal treatment.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, a government department, said in a statement: “There are no provisions in the Citizenship Act that confer Canadian citizenship status to members of the royal family.
“In order to become legal permanent residents of Canada, they would need to apply through our normal immigration processes.”
The statement added, “However, members of the royal family are not required to seek authorization to come to and stay in Canada as visitors.”
To avoid complications and lengthy paperwork, the couple could choose to stay in Canada as visitors rather than residents.
Prince Harry news: Harry and Meghan would need to seek Canadian visas to work in the country (Image: GETTY)
According to Canadian law, the Sussexes could stay in Canada for up to six months without needing a special visa
However, they would not be allowed to work during this type of stay and would need to seek visas to do so.
There are several ways Meghan and Harry could do this.
One – but not very likely – option is for Canadian immigration minister Ahmed Hussen to grant the couple residency on “compassionate grounds”.
Another is for the Canadian government to declare the Sussexes as people of significant cultural or economic benefit to Canada.
This is usually reserved for notable literary figures, artists or scientists.
However, both of these options could trigger backlash if the couple is seen as cutting the queue in the immigration process.
Meghan previously spent seven years living in Canada when filming Suits, and this longevity in the country could give the couple a boost in becoming residents.
Speaking to Canadian TV network the Canadian PM said: “There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the Royal Family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have.
“We are obviously supportive of their reflections but have responsibilities in that as well.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK