Hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they are “stepping back” from their roles as senior members of the royal family, and will be splitting their time from now on between the U.K. and North America, the queen’s office issued what is, by her usual reserved, tight-lipped standards, a scathing response to the news.
“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to sort through.”
According to Jonny Dymond, a royal correspondent and presenter for BBC News, the Sussexes’ exit came as a surprise to the rest of the royal family.
“BBC Understands that no other member of the Royal Family was consulted before Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement tonight,” Dymond tweeted, adding that the other senior members of the royal family are reported to be “disappointed” and “hurt.”
The Sussexes’ announcement comes after they spent the holidays with Markle’s mom, Doria Ragland, in Canada, instead of with the rest of the royal family at Sandringham, a decision that also reportedly made the queen “disappointed,” although publicly she supported it.
All in all, the queen seems deeply displeased that she did not have a say in the Sussexes’ decision to step back from their royal roles — their most dramatic move since shutting their own car doors. No word yet on whether she has gone so far as to shove her hands in her pockets in frustration.