Queen Elizabeth Told Prince Harry That He and Meghan Markle Can Return to Royal Life If They Want To

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to step back from their roles as working royals, Queen Elizabeth made sure they knew that the door was open to return.

An excerpt from Finding Freedom, a forthcoming book about the Sussexes from royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, goes into detail about Harry and Meghan’s choice to step back, laying out a play-by-play of how it all went down. And after the agreement for the couple’s new lives had been all hashed out, Queen Elizabeth invited Harry to lunch at Windsor Castle, during which, according to Scobie and Durand’s reporting, she assured him that she supported him and Meghan regardless, and that they could return to the fold whenever they wanted.

“As they tucked into a roast lunch, the Queen made it clear to Harry that she would always support him in whatever he decided to do,” the excerpt in the Times reads. “Though a 12-month trial period had already been promised to Harry earlier in the year, their conversation was also a reminder that should he and Meghan ever want to return to their roles, they were always welcome.”

The passage also quotes an inside source, who claims, “It’s been made very clear they can come back whenever they want, when they’re ready.”

This meeting—which was widely publicized at the time, though not with as much detail—took place on March 1. In the meantime, Harry and Meghan have made meaningful steps toward forging a new and different life in Los Angeles with baby Archie.