Queen Elizabeth II has reacted to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's plans to "step back as 'senior' members of the royal family". Buckingham Palace issued an official statement just a few hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on Instagram that they would start "to carve out a progressive new role" within the royal family.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: This was Harry and Meghan's first royal engagement in 2020!!!

Harry and Meghan are stepping back: Was the royal family caught off guard?

The statement by Buckingham palace read as follows: "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 will take time to work through."

Meanwhile, PEOPLE reports that Queen Elizabeth II as well as other members of the royal family (like Prince Charles and Prince William) were actually caught off guard by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex' announcement on Instagram.

The hesitant language in Buckingham Palace's statement certainly supports that notion. "There is a lot of hurt about this," a royal source told PEOPLE.

Part of their "progressive new role within the institution" will be financial independence and a life on two continents, as Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan plan to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.