Queen calls crisis meeting with Charles and William over Meghan and Harry’s future

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THE QUEEN has ordered a crisis meeting between royal households to try to resolve the situation after Meghan Markle and Prince Harry announced they would be stepping down from their roles as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family on Wednesday evening.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a stunning announcement on Wednesday evening as they said they would “step back” as “senior” members of the Royal Family. The Queen was not told prior to the statement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Buckingham Palace was reportedly left “disappointed”. The Queen has now ordered a crisis meeting with royal households, to resolve the situation, expected to take just “days not weeks”.

Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen, The Prince of Wales and The Duke of Cambridge have directed their teams to work together at pace with Governments and The Sussex Household to find workable solutions. Expected to take days not weeks.”

The Royal Family will reportedly talk to multiple governments which suggests US and Canadian officials may be involved, PA claims.

It comes just a day after a statement from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in which the pair announced the would “step back” as “senior” members of the Royal Family.

The duke and duchess, who have only recently returned from a six-week stay in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie, said in their statement: “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.

The Queen

The Queen will reportedly hold a crisis meeting after the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes’ statement (Image: NC)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry released their shocking announcement on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

“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.”

Shortly after the statement, Buckingham Palace said discussions with Harry and Meghan were at an early stage and that such complicated issues took time to work out.

A statement read: “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.”

Queen Elizabeth II, who has devoted her life to the public duty of monarchy since she became queen in 1952, and other senior members of the family felt hurt and disappointed by the move, a royal source said.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II has ordered a crisis meeting (Image: GETTY)

The statement released by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Wednesday evening said the pair “plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America” where they will continue to “honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages”.

It added: “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.

“We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties.

“Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

Prince Charles

Prince Charles reportedly did not know about the timing of Wednesday’s statement (Image: GETTY)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have only just returned from their 6-week break (Image: GETTY)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reportedly ignored instructions from the Queen not to go public with their bombshell announcement, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.

The Queen, Prince of Wales and other senior royals were not consulted about the content of the couple’s statement or knew it was to be issued.

But, according to the Standard, Charles and the Duke of Cambridge only received the statement 10 minutes before it was released.

Over the festive period the newspaper claimed Charles told his son to come up with a thought out plan for his wish to spend more time in Canada and America, and when he put forward a draft proposal – was told time was needed to consider its implications, particularly funding.

Meghan and Harry timeline

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry royal timeline (Image: NC)

The Queen agreed to Harry’s request to meet when he returned from Canada but the duke was told his grandmother would not discuss his proposals before he had talked them through with his father.

Despite the request not to make any announcements the Sussexes published their statement on Wednesday evening.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the decision by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was a matter for the royal household.

Jessica Mulroney, a close friend of the Duchess of Sussex, posted a quote on Instagram about a “strong woman” facing a challenge.

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry made their announcement on Wednesday evening (Image: GETTY)

Following Harry and Meghan’s bombshell statement on Wednesday evening, Mulroney shared a picture of a quote attributed to Gina Carey, which said: “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also plan to restrict the national press’s access to their official engagements, at the same time as insisting they believe in a free and open media.

In its media section, Sussexroyal.com, criticised Britain’s royal correspondents and said it would no longer participate in the “royal rota” system which has been used by Buckingham Palace for decades.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has hit back at plans by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to restrict the national press’s access to their official engagements, branding it “completely unacceptable”.

Prince William

Prince William’s team will work towards finding a solution with other royal households (Image: GETTY)

A YouGov poll has found 45 percent of the British public support the Sussexes’ decision to step back as senior royals, but 63 percent say their funding from the Prince of Wales’s Duchy of Cornwall should stop. More than a quarter (26 percent) oppose Harry and Meghan’s decision.

Almost half (49 percent) of Britons think that the couple’s decision will not damage the royal family, while nearly a third (32 percent) think it will.

The decision from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex comes after the pair spoke about their struggles with royal life during ITV documentary ‘Harry & Meghan: An African Journey’, which aired in October.

In the show, Meghan opened up on her time since joining the Royal Family and said “she was “existing, not living”.

Prince Harry also admitted he and his brother, Prince William, are “on different paths” but “will always be brothers”.

The pair have spoken about wanting privacy for their son, Archie Harrison, who was born in May.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK