London, January 12: Queen Elizabeth II has summoned senior royals to her Sandringham estate in Norfolk on Monday for an emergency family meeting to discuss the future roles of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan and solve the crisis triggered by the couple’s bombshell announcement that they were stepping back from Britain’s royal frontline.
Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, his brother William, the Duke of Cambridge, and their father Charles, the Prince of Wales, have all been invited to the meeting, while Meghan is expected join the discussion over the phone from Canada, the BBC quoted palace officials as saying.
Monday’s meeting – dubbed as the ‘Sandringham summit’ – will be the first time the 93-year-old monarch has come face-to-face with Harry since the Sussex crisis exploded.
The couple made their bombshell announcement on Wednesday that they intend to “step back” from being frontline royals, split their time between the UK and North America, and work towards becoming “financially independent”.
It is hoped that the talks will produce a “next step” on the way to defining the couple’s new relationship with the Royal Family – in line with the Queen’s wish to find a solution within days, the report said, adding that there are still “formidable obstacles” to overcome in the talks.
The meeting will be an opportunity for the family to discuss proposals, drawn up after a series of consultations between palace officials and representatives of the UK and Canadian governments over how Meghan, 38, and Harry, 35, can achieve their aim of carving out new “progressive” roles as hybrid royals.
The couple have said they plan to continue helping charitable causes through their new Sussex Royal charity, which they set up after splitting from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s foundation in June last year.
Last month, they made an application to trademark the brand across a string of items including books, calendars, clothing, charitable fundraising, education and social care services.
However, that process may face some legal wrangles as it emerged that an application has been lodged in the European Union (EU) to trademark a range of goods including beer and jewellery under the same brand.
In their statement released earlier this week, they also said they would be adopting a “revised media approach”, engaging with “grassroots media organisations” and using their Instagram account, which has more than 10 million followers, to “personally share moments in their lives directly with members of the public”.
The royal family, led by the Queen, was said to be “hurt” and “blindsided” by their shock announcement, which they said was finalised after “many months of reflection and internal discussions”.
It came soon after the coupe returned to the UK from a six-week holiday on Vancouver Island in Canada, the country likely to be their second home given Meghan’s former actress connections with the city of Toronto.
Meghan, who is American, lived and worked in Toronto where she starred in the popular US drama Suits. (PTI)