Queen Elizabeth has called for a crisis meeting with her grandson Prince Harry to discuss future arrangements about his wish to step down as a senior royal with wife Meghan Markle. Heirs to the throne Prince Charles, Harry’s father, and Prince William, his older brother will also be joining the discussion. Duchess Meghan will supposedly join in via phone call since she flew back to Canada earlier this week to rejoin their son Archie.
The discussion will be held at the queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk, eastern England on Monday, January 13 and will be the first time the royals will meet in person since the couple's announcement.
On January 8, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world when they announced that they will be stepping down from their roles as senior royals. The couple expressed their wish to split their time between North America and the United Kingdom this year. The two also mentioned that they are planning to become financially independent while continuing to support the Queen.
"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. We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."
Shortly after, Buckingham Palace also released its response: "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."
The couple reportedly did not inform any of the senior royals about their decision before their public announcement, leaving them hurt and disappointed.
Some of Harry’s friends have shared their take on the couple’s decision. Tom Bradby spoke with ITV News and mentioned "really bad personal splits" as one of the reasons, as reported by People.com. "From Harry and Meghan’s point of view, they’re just being driven out, as they see it. And it’s sad."
Another one of his friends, JJ Chalmers, also talked to The One Show and shared that Harry did it to protect his family. He mentioned: "The decision that he has made, at the forefront of that is to protect his family, because that’s the number one rule[. It] is to be a father and to be a husband."
Harry and Meghan wed in 2018 and welcomed their son in 2019.
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