London, United Kingdom | AFP | Saturday 1/12/2020 – 07:00 UTC+8
Queen Elizabeth II will host a showdown meeting with Prince Harry on Monday in an attempt to solve the crisis triggered by his bombshell announcement that he and wife Meghan were stepping back from the royal frontline.
Other senior royals including Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, with whom he has strained relations, will join the monarch at her private Sandringham estate in eastern England, according to British media.
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 HRH titles and what commercial deals they can strike, according to the Sunday Times.
Harry, Meghan and son Archie spent Christmas in Canada, with the US former actress returning there this week.
The Queen on Thursday demanded that staff work with the couple to urgently find a “workable solution” that would take into account their demands for more freedom.
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.
Senior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s 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.
The younger prince, who has struggled with his role, last year revealed he has been growing apart from his brother, who was 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 have also lashed out at negative news coverage, some of which Harry says was racist — in light of Meghan’s biracial heritage.
© Agence France-Presse
Cover image: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, leave St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, Windsor, west of London, on May 18, 2019, after the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston. (Photo by Steve Parsons / Pool / AFP)