It’s been a whirlwind start to 2020 for the royal family, culminating today in Queen Elizabeth reportedly calling an “emergency meeting” in response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s groundbreaking announcement. On Wednesday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed their plans to “step back” as senior members of the royal family — and insiders are now reporting that Her Majesty The Queen is working “quickly” to find a solution.
According to People, the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William have formed a sort of royal family task force. United, they’ve given their office instruction to work expediently to help resolve the situation with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in a way all parties can live with. “The Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge have directed their teams to work at pace with governments and the Sussexes’ office to find workable solutions and this is expected to take days, not weeks,” a royal source told the outlet.
While the monarch, 93, was reportedly caught off-guard by the announcement initially, she has turned now to a more actionable response. Claimed the source, “This has moved from shock and a range of emotions to something more constructive. It is complicated. This is happening very quickly.”
A statement from Buckingham Palace regarding The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. https://t.co/1qtTEHiIq6
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 8, 2020
At this point, there are still many factors at play — the palaces will have to “talk openly with governments” in both the UK and North America, said the source, adding, “People are trying to work fast through these complicated issues in order to find something that works for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
Of course, there are also plenty of questions that remain to be answered. According to BBC royal correspondent Jonny Dymond, Harry and Meghan did not consult any other members of the royal family before making their historic announcement. So, it makes sense that the Queen would need a little time to solidify the arrangement on her side. This includes hammering out how, precisely, the Sussexes will “support Her Majesty The Queen,” as they indicated in their statement.
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“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 fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
Harry and Meghan have attempted to head off many questions at the pass with explainers on their official website, SussexRoyal.com. There, they’ve addressed issues ranging from where their funding will come from to whether they’ll retain their Frogmore Cottage home on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Both sources for People and BBC have indicated that it is currently unclear if the couple plans to split their time between the U.K. and Canada or the U.K. and the U.S.