Queen Elizabeth summons Prince Harry & senior royals for crisis meeting
The couple wishes to live as both members of the monarchy and private individuals.
Queen Elizabeth II has called for an emergency meeting with Prince Harry and other senior royals on Monday, Jan. 13.
This meeting was called to solve the crisis triggered by the bombshell announcement that Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, were stepping back from the royal frontline.
Prince Harry and Meghan request to step back from royal duties
Senior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s (Jan. 8) announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to seek a “progressive new role” and divide their time between Britain and North America.
The Queen’s office issued a terse statement the same evening, saying there were “complicated issues that will take time to work through”.
Harry and Meghan said they intended to continue to “fully support” the queen and “collaborate” with senior royals.
They also want to keep their home on the queen’s Windsor Castle estate as their British base, while aiming to become financially independent.
Harry, Meghan and son Archie spent Christmas in Canada, with the American former actress returning there this week.
Several Canadian media reported Meghan had returned to Vancouver island off the country’s Pacific coast, where the family spent the year-end holidays and where baby Archie had remained with his nanny.
The couple’s desire to live as both members of the monarchy and private individuals making a living was described as a “toxic mix” by David McClure, an investigator into royal finances.
“The history of senior royals making money — the two is a toxic mix. It hasn’t worked well in the past,” he told the Press Association.
“How can you be half-in, half-out — half the week perform public duties and the other half earn your own income with TV, lectures, books? It is fraught with dangers.”
The younger prince, who has struggled with his role, last year revealed he has been growing apart from his brother, who as second in line to the throne is increasingly pursuing a different path.
Harry has been open about his mental health issues and he and Meghan last year admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and Archie’s birth a year later.
The couple has also lashed out at negative news coverage, some of which Harry says was racist — in light of Meghan’s biracial heritage.
Crisis meeting to explore “workable solutions”
Following the announcement, the Queen demanded that staff work with the couple to urgently find a “workable solution” that would take into account their demands for more freedom on Jan. 9.
She also called for a crisis meeting with Prince Harry and the senior royals on Monday, Jan. 13.
Other senior royals to join the meeting on Monday include Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William.
Meghan will join the meeting via conference call from Canada as they attempt to work out the “next steps” towards a compromise and nip the growing crisis in the bud.
Issues up for debate include how much money the couple will still receive from Charles’s estate, their Royal Highness (HRH) titles and what commercial deals they can strike, according to the Sunday Times.