The Queen will hold crisis talks with Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles today – the first face-to-face discussions since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their decision to step back from royal duties.
In what can be seen as an unprecedented summit, the senior royals will sit down together at Sandringham in Norfolk – where it is thought the “next steps” will be decided following the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s bombshell.
It is understood that Meghan, who is in Canada with baby Archie, may join the meeting by telephone.
However, it is unlikely that a final agreement will be reached during the talks.
Sky’s royal correspondent Rhiannon Mills said: “The Queen may want solutions and fast, but I’m told there is an appreciation that a change to their working life and role within the monarchy requires complex and thoughtful discussion, and there is agreement that any decisions will take time to implement.
“In other words, we might hear about potential next steps late on Monday, but I suspect ironing out a final agreement will take time. There is so much at stake.”
Following a series of meetings and consultations over the last few days, there are expected to be a range of possibilities for the family to review.
These will take into account the thinking outlined by the Sussexes on Wednesday when they announced their intentions to “carve out a progressive new role within the institution”.
Despite the complexity of the talks, a palace source reported that it continues to be the Queen’s request and wish that the discussions about solutions happen at pace and are worked out within days and not weeks.
Meetings between senior members of the family may take place behind closed doors, but this is the first time in recent years that the media has been openly briefed about one happening.
It can be seen as a move by the Queen to show she is taking control of the situation after Harry and Meghan unveiled plans to step back as senior royals, become financially independent and split their time between North America and the UK.
The Street Journal reported that the couple released the statement without consulting or informing any senior members of the family. At the time, the family were said to be disappointed and hurt.