It’s now been revealed that Meghan Markle reportedly wasn’t in fact included in the royal family’s emergency crisis meeting over fears of the security of a conference call.
Despite initial reports that Meghan, who has returned to Canada since the Sussexes’ huge announcement, would be included in the emergency meeting via a call, sources have no revealed that didn’t happen.
A royal aid let slip before the meeting that a Skype call was deemed too risky, according to the The Daily Mail.
“This was a highly confidential family discussion, not a conference call. While the Queen has no objection in principle to Skype or conference calls, for clarity’s sake it is more likely that Harry will break off from the negotiations to call the Duchess.”
Queen Elizabeth issued a loaded statement about grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s shock exit from the royal family, following an emergency meeting at her Sandringham country estate in Norfolk.
In the brief message, the Queen - who was reportedly caught off-guard by the Sussexes’ bombshell last week - acknowledged she would have “preferred” for the Duke and Duchess to maintain their royal roles, but said she is “supportive” of their change in plan.
The monarch also noted there is ‘more work’ to come to facilitate Meghan and Harry’s split from the royal family, but hopes the matter will be resolved in the coming days.
“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the Queen’s statement reads.
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the royal family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family, while remaining a valued part of my family.
“Harry and Meghan have made it clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.
“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
Here it is, Queen’s statement: pic.twitter.com/qfgcaiNkFN— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) January 13, 2020
Royal titles missing on ‘Harry and Meghan’ statement
In the six-line statement, the Queen chose to refer to Harry and Meghan as just that, ‘Harry and Meghan’ instead of using their traditional royal titles ‘His/Her Royal Highness’ and the ‘Duke/Duchess of Sussex’.
The implications behind the monarch’s shift from formal to informal language for the Prince and his wife is unknown, however it comes after The Sun’s former royal editor Duncan Larcombe told Yahoo UK, “There’s a chance they could be [stripped of their royal titles]”.
As per convention, Harry and Meghan were given their official titles on their wedding day by the Queen, and the pair have subsequently built a brand around their name, Sussex Royal. They recently trademarked the name suggesting the pair intends to retain their royal titles after they exit the family.
Royal family hammering out the details
Following the couple’s unprecedented announcement last week that they would “step back” from their royal roles, Her Majesty called for a crisis summit involving Harry, his father Prince Charles, and older brother Prince William.
Meghan flew back to Canada on Friday to be with the couple’s son Archie, who had remained behind with friends, but reportedly joined the talks via video conference.
It is thought the fractured family would hammer out details involving security for the couple, as well as Harry and Meghan’s expressed wish to keep their recently renovated Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, England - which is owned by the Queen - as their UK residence.
As the Queen’s statement notes, finances were also on the agenda, as Harry and Meghan’s announcement shared they intended to become “financially independent”.
While the statement suggests they will no longer “be reliant on public funds,” it’s unclear as to whether or not Prince Charles will continue to contribute to them financially.
Calling Canada home
The Queen’s statement also revealed a new detail about the couple’s future plans.
While their initial announcement mentioned splitting their time in North America, Elizabeth II notes that they’ve specifically chosen to settle in Canada for part of the time.
Harry and Meghan spent their six-week Christmas break in Canada with eight-month-old son Archie in tow. It’s also where Meghan lived while filming the TV show Suits, and the place her best friend Jessica Mulroney calls home.
The Duke and Duchess also paid a visit to Canada House in London the day before their shock announcement.
The Queen’s post-Megxit statement in summary:
The Queen is ‘supportive’ of Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back as senior royals despite her ‘preference’ for them to stay with the family
The Queen has acknowledged that the couple ‘do not want to be reliant on public funds’ but exactly when and how they will earn an income is not yet clear
The Queen has clarified that Harry and Meghan will split their time between Canada and the UK
Megxit discussions are still ongoing however the Queen wants things to be resolved ‘in the coming days’
The Queen has not used the couple’s formal royal titles, raising questions marks around whether they’ll be allowed to retain their HRH styling
Additional reporting by Erin Donnelly.
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