Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has opened up about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement to step back as senior members of the British royal family.

Commenting on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's shocking announcement, Crown Prince Haakon said: "I think if everyone should take their time to breathe, and I am sure they will find good solutions." The 46-year-old was speaking to the media to give an update on the health situation of his father King Harald.

The Duke of Sussex has met the Norwegian royal family on several occasions in recent years. The 35-year-old last travelled to the country in February 2019, to visit Exercise Clockwork in Bardufoss, for a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Commando Helicopter Force and Joint Helicopter Command.

The Norwegian royal family was not present at the couple's wedding in 2018 and it is not known if any of the members have ever met Duchess Meghan. However, the royal families of Norway and Britain are closely related. Norway's first queen after the union resolution with Sweden in 1905, Queen Maud, was the daughter of King Edward VII of the United Kingdom. In fact, King Harald of Norway and Queen Elizabeth II happen to be second cousins, reports Royal Central.

The Norwegian royal family is itself going through tough times, due to the death of Princess Martha Louise's ex-husband Ari Behn. The author committed suicide at the age of 47 on Christmas Day 2019.

Meanwhile, negotiations were held by the British royal family at Sandringham on Monday to discuss how Prince Harry and Meghan's new position within the royal family will function. The queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry were present at the meeting. Meghan who is currently in Canada with her eight-month-old son Archie did not join the meeting.

According to CNN, the British monarch has agreed to a "period of transition" and to let Harry and Meghan could split their time between the UK and Canada. However, details of a more "independent" role for the royal couple are being hammered out and "complex matters" would have to be resolved.

Norway's Crown Prince Haakon sits inside the World Islamic Mission Mosque in Oslo
Norway's Crown Prince Haakon sits inside the World Islamic Mission Mosque in Oslo, July 26, 2011. Friday's attacks by Anders Behring Breivik traumatised normally peaceful Norway, which has been struggling to come to terms with its worst peace-time massacre of modern times. Reuters

In a statement issued after the meeting, the queen said they "respect and understand" Harry and Meghan's "wish to live a more independent life," but her preference would have been for the couple to remain as full-time working royals.

"There is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days," the 93-year-old said in the statement.