Queen Elizabeth II was seen out for a drive on Friday, following the news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are "stepping back" from the royal family. The queen is 93 years old, yet she was behind the wheel herself as she drove around her Norfolk estate this week. Royal admirers tried to discern her expression in the unexpected sighting.
Queen Elizabeth has plenty of drivers to help her get around if she wanted them to, so she likely chose to drive herself on Friday. According to a report by Hollywood Life, she was seen on her Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Friday, driving a Land Rover. She looked "stern," though she was admittedly squinting as the sun shone in through her windshield.
This unusual royal sighting came just days after an historic announcement from Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Prince Harry — he and his wife, former American actress Meghan Markle, will be "stepping back" from the royal family and will now split their time between the U.K. and North America.
"After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution," their statement read. "We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen."
"We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages," they went on. "This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity."
The world was shocked by this announcement, and apparently, so was the queen. Buckingham Palace issued a follow-up statement, saying that Prince Harry and Markle's changing roles would have to be discussed further internally before royal admirers could get a clear idea of what would happen next.
Queen Elizabeth driving a range rover wearing a headscarf of dogs on it. Can you say legend pic.twitter.com/imKhMVf7Pq— abdulla’s tea (@gryffintea2) January 10, 2020
"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 we will take time to work through," the statement read.
Insiders said that the royal family is scrambling for a mutually agreeable solution, without shirking tradition.0comments
"The Queen, the Prince of Wales [Prince Charles] and Duke of Cambridge [Prince William] have directed their teams to work together at pace governments and the Sussex household to find workable solutions," a source told Hollywood Life.
So far, Markle and Prince Harry have not given an official update on their decision.