LONDON (AP) - Prince Harry and his wife Meghan were taking the first steps into their new independent life thousands of miles apart.
Meghan was in Canada, where the couple spent a six-week Christmas break out of the public eye.
Harry stayed in England as the royal family sought to contain the crisis sparked by the couple’s decision effectively to quit as senior royals.
A friend of the couple pushed back against accusations they blindsided Queen Elizabeth II with the announcement that they would be stepping back from royal duties.
The monarch moved quickly to take control of the crisis surrounding the decision by the couple to distance themselves from the royal family.
British media reported Friday that the monarch, who is at her Sandringham estate, held a conference call with her son Prince Charles and grandsons Prince William and Prince Harry, who were all in different locations.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan want to break with royal tradition and become financially independent.
They have said they won’t use the taxpayer money that pays for 5% of their office expenses, but beyond that, it’s not clear how they plan to change their financial setup.
Both say they want to be free to work and to expand their involvement in numerous charities.
They may continue to use private funds from Harry’s father, Prince Charles, through his control of a large estate known as the Duchy of Cornwall.
Harry also inherited money from his late mother Princess Diana and Meghan had a successful TV career.