Meghan Markle returned to Canada following their big announcement, but Prince Harry has responsibilities in the U.K.
After spending the end of the year on Canada’s Vancouver Island with 8-month-old son Archie, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to London for a handful of engagements on Jan. 7. They visited Canada House to thank the country for hosting them and also stopped by the Hubb Community Kitchen, one of Meghan’s first royal partnerships, to check in and wish them a happy new year.
Meghan, 38, and Prince Harry, 35, shared their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family on Wednesday, soon after which Meghan flew back to Canada to reunite with Archie. Harry, meanwhile, remained in England to continue the discussion about the big changes ahead with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Prince William.
Now that the so-called “Sandringham Summit” is over, some have wondered why Prince Harry hasn’t returned to Canada to reunite with his wife and son.
Prince Harry is remaining in the U.K. for the next few days as he has an engagement in the London on Thursday. The prince will host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 draws for the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace. Harry was announced as patron of the Rugby Football League in December 2016, succeeding the Queen.
At the conclusion of the historic family summit on Monday, Queen Elizabeth announced that that as conversations regarding Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down as senior royals continue, there will be a “period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the U.K.”
“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,” The Queen, 93, said in the statement, going on to specifically mention that the royal couple “do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.”
“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.”
One such matter that appears to still be unresolved is the question of who will cover security costs for the trio during their time in Canada.
According to a report from the Evening Standard, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has privately assured the Queen that Canada will help pay for their security, although Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau has gone on the record as saying no final decision has been made.
“No, we haven’t spent any time thinking about this issue,” Morneau told reporters on Monday, according to CBC News. “We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. We have not had any discussions on that subject at this time.”
Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
At the time, the palace said Harry and Meghan’s decision to base themselves in the country over the holidays “reflects the importance of this Commonwealth country to them both.”
“The Duke of Sussex has been a frequent visitor to Canada over many years, and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of the Royal Family,” the statement continued. “They are enjoying sharing the warmth of the Canadian people and the beauty of the landscape with their young son.”