Queen Elizabeth announces 'period of transition' for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex met with the Queen Monday to discuss their plans to become financially independent and spend time between Canada and the U.K.
7:33 | 01/14/20

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Transcript for Queen Elizabeth announces 'period of transition' for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Reporter: They're two of the most famous siblings in the world, William and Harry. Walking through life together, inseparable as children, laughing alongside their mother, Diana. Sharing in their grief at her they grew up in the spotlight, leaning on one another, standing side by side at each other's weddings, eventually welcoming children of their own. Their bond seemed unbreakable. But now apparently they're a family divided. I think they both love each other dearly, but when you get married, have your own family, you've got different priorities. In all honesty I think that they have grown apart a little. Reporter: Last week the duke and duchess of Sussex went public with their bombshell plan to leave their posts as senior Royals. Royal bombshell. The growing fallout from Harry and Meghan's royal exit. Did the queen know this was Reporter: The news sparking an international frenzy. The British press dubbing it now all eyes on the royal family. A summit called for by the queen took place at her majesty's private home in sandringham. Prince Charles, William, and Harry all in attendance. Meghan in Canada. He's a father. His prior priority is his wife and son and I think what we're seeing is he's putting them first. Reporter: It's still early days but for now it seems the family has reached a tentative agreement. The queen voicing her support but admitting it was not what she wanted. Issuing this statement. "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 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. I spoke to a number of people that know the queen very well and the reality is she absolutely is a pragmatist, let's gust get this resolved. Reporter: Just ahead of today's meeting a glimpse of unity, prince William and Harry releasing their first statement since the announcement pushing back on rumors that William bullied Harry out of the royal family. For brothers who care so deeply around the issues surrounding mental health the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful. Where Harry and Meghan have ended up is a far cry from how it all began. A royal wedding watched by but it's not been the fairy tale once imagined. They have been given a lot of freedom by royal standards but there are some things that they just have to -- some rules they have to abide by, and I think she just has found that restricting, difficult and now wants out. Reporter: The couple's decision coming after months of rumored rifts inside the palace and growing tensions outside with the press. All this seemingly pushing the pair to their breaking point. Don't behave like this. Reporter: In retrospect some say there were clues, pointing to that ten-day royal tour of Africa last fall. At the time the couple opening up to itv's Tom Bradby in a documentary Harry and Meghan: An African journey. Harry addressing ongoing reports of tension with his brother William. How much of that is true? Stuff happens. But look, we're brothers. We'll always be brothers. Reporter: In that same documentary Meghan spoke to Bradby about her private struggle to fit in. It's not enough to just survive something. Right? Like that's not the point of life. You've got to thrive. You've got to feel happy. And I think I really tried to adopt this British sensibility of a stiff upper lip. It has its -- I really tried. But I think that what that does internally is probably really damaging. Reporter: Now in a new itv documentary Bradby reflects on how that trip was just the beginning of this ongoing saga. My best guess is they wanted that I think to be a bit of a pressure release valve. They wanted it as an indication of if they ever made the announce; which we've now seen that there would be some preparing the ground. Do you think at that point that two months down the line, the turn of the year, Harry and Meghan will be announcing pretty much that they want out? Yeah. I do think that. Reporter: Some would say perhaps it's a clash of cultures. She came with a different background. She was American. She was a divorcee. She was independent, financially independent. So there was going to have to be a readjustment on both sides. Reporter: But their relationship with the British tabloids has been fraught from the beginning. Just a few months into their budding romance British tabloids descended on them, some with racially charged headlines and commentary like this one from the "Daily mail" that read "Harry's girl is almost straight outta Compton." She's been subject to incredible online abuse. As has Kate Middleton but I think there is this component of race that Harry addressed even before they were married. Reporter: Something Meghan would address in their engagement interview. You know, at the end of the day I'm really just proud of who I am where I come from. And we have never put any focus on that. We've just focused on who we are as a couple. Reporter: Some racist coverage played a part, but the relentless aggressive coverage on all aspects of their marriage eventually took its toll. Unfortunately, there are also certain classes of people who will dehumanize women, who will dehumanize people of color, and Meghan ticks off all of those boxes. Reporter: In October Harry announced he was suing the sun and the daily mirror for alleged phone hacking. Soon after Meghan filed a lawsuit against the mail on Sunday and its parent company claiming they illegally published a letter she had written to her father. When you continue and constantly see and hear negativity, it can be overwhelming. You can feel powerless and lost. You can feel different, confused, or like you don't belong. Reporter: In response Harry got personal. "My deepest fear is history repeating itself. I've seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point they are no longer treated or seen as a real person. I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces." Harry's late mother Diana knew the problems of life in the royal spotlight all too well. In a television interview with panorama in 1995 she described the suffocating nature of being a royal. The pressure on us both as a couple with the media was phenomenal. And misunderstood by a great many people. Reporter: Diana was beloved but the public's fascination perhaps fueled by the Paparazzi meant she was hounded relentlessly. Harry doesn't like the press because of what happened to his mother. And who can blame him? But I just think in terms of the press we've done what we've been we've stood where we've been told to stand. We've only taken pictures when they've been in public. And these days there is so much press. There's everything you that see online and on social media. And have horrible things been written about them? Absolutely they have. Have a lot of fair things been written about them? Yes. That's also true. Reporter: Now it seems the couple is trying to take control of their own narrative. Their website sussexroyal.com launched after last week's announcement laying out new parameters for press coverage of the couple's engagements. But given the queen's statement today it's unclear just how much of that plan will actually be put into place. These are complex matters for my family to resolve and there's some more work to be done but I've asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days. For "Nightline" I'm James Longman in London.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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