Royal showdown: Queen hosts Meghan-Harry crisis talks
It is hoped that the talks will produce a “next step” on the way to defining Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new relationship with the royal family -- in line with the queen's wish to find a solution within days.
Queen Elizabeth II -- often referred to as “the boss” behind the palace walls -- and her heirs will meet Prince Harry on Monday to thrash out a plan for him and his actress wife Meghan Markle after they triggered a family crisis by deciding to scale back their official duties and pursue their private interests.
Harry's father and heir to the throne Prince Charles and his elder brother Prince William will attend the meeting at the queen's rural Sandringham estate in eastern England, a palace source said.
Meghan is expected to join the discussion by phone from Canada.
The shock announcement by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex -- Prince Harry and Meghan -- has exposed divisions in the Windsor family and prompted soul-searching over what it means to be royal in the 21st century.
It is hoped that the Monday 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, reported the BBC.
Among the issues likely to be discussed are what funding the duke and duchess will receive, whether they will keep their titles and what royal duties they will continue to carry out.
The Queen, Prince Charles, William and Harry are expected to review a range of possibilities for the Sussexes, taking into account plans outlined by the couple.
The couple consulted neither the queen nor Charles on the announcement, made on Instagram and their own website -- a step seen as “impertinent” and “premature” by a family whose roots go back through a thousand years of European history.
Meghan and Harry say they want a "progressive" new role for themselves and financial independence, which could mean working in the US where Meghan is from.
But it was unclear how they will pull off a partial pullback from royal roles - which some media have dubbed "Megxit" in a play on Britain's Brexit departure from the European Union - or who will pay for a transatlantic lifestyle.
Now, the queen will have to find a way to harness Harry and Meghan's global appeal, especially among young people, while giving them the freedom they crave and ensuring the bill to the British taxpayer is as modest as possible.
The decisions taken by the queen and her son Charles at the discussion could shape the monarchy's future.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s ambition to break out of their gilded royal casts has become a feast for British tabloid newspapers.
The newspapers have run a host of stories, based on quotes from unidentified royal insiders, about a split between Harry and his brother William and anger at the top of the family amid suspicion of leaks and ostracism.
Some British newspapers even claimed that Harry and Meghan could threaten to give an extensive interview to a major US network.
The furore over the couple, who married last May in a glittering ceremony watched by millions round the world, comes after a tough 2019 for the royal family.
Prince Andrew's friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein came under uncomfortable scrutiny while Prince Philip received a police warning over a car crash.