The Queen has been seen smiling alongside her son Prince Andrew in her first appearance since the announcement Harry and Meghan will be walking away from the royal family.

Andrew joined the Queen at a church in the English county of Norfolk to attend a Sunday service.

Wearing a grey houndstooth checked dress and matching coat with a grey hat, the monarch smiled broadly as she arrived at the church in Hillington, close to her estate.

Onlookers said the 93-year-old appeared in high spirits despite Harry and Meghan’s decision.

In a statement issued after royal family talks concluded, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they will stop carrying out royal duties from the spring, no longer use the title HRH and will repay the taxpayers’ millions spent on their Berkshire home.

Harry and Meghan said in their statement, issued on their behalf by Buckingham Palace, that under the agreement they understood they were “required” to step back from royal duties.

The announcement marks the conclusion of talks about their future with senior members of the family and royal aides.

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Earning money from lucrative contracts and still remaining active members of the monarchy would have been problematic and has caused issues for royals who have tried to straddle the two positions in the past.

The deal was dubbed a hard “Megxit” by the media and a source told PA news agency “you can’t be half in and half out”.

Meghan’s father Thomas Markle branded the decision to split from the royal family “disappointing” and “embarrassing”.

“It’s disappointing because she actually got every girl’s dream, every young girl wanted to become a princess and she got that,” Markle said, speaking in Mexico for a British television documentary.

“And now she’s tossing that away for … it looks like she’s tossing that away for money.

“Apparently three million dollars and a 26-bedroom home isn’t enough for them. It’s kind of embarrassing to me.”

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Markle said Harry and Meghan had tarnished the British monarchy.

“This is like one of the greatest long living institutions ever. They are destroying it, they are cheapening it, making it shabby,” he said.

“They are turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it.”

The Queen issued an emotional statement, saying she recognised the “challenges” the couple had faced over the past year but assured the public that “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family”.

Meghan and Harry have already begun a transition phase of living in Canada and the UK.

The duchess is currently in the Commonwealth country with son Archie, where the Sussexes spent six weeks over the festive period.

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AAP