LONDON – Queen Elizabeth II has called for a meeting with senior royals to discuss the future roles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, after the pair announced they were stepping back from senior royal life.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson told media that the Queen would meet with Harry; his father and first in line to the throne, Prince Charles, and his elder brother and second in line to the throne, Prince William, at Sandringham on Monday.
Markle, who is currently in Canada, would join via telephone.
The meeting is designed to thrash out what roles the Sussexes will play going forward following their shock announcement last week that they were stepping back from the frontline of royal duties.
In a statement, the pair said they planned to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
The royal family is expected to coordinate with the government in Canada, where the pair are likely to establish a base.
In their announcement, Harry and Meghan said they wanted to be more financially independent.
The news has gripped British press.
For the year-and-a-half since their wedding at Windsor Castle – which was a gigantic media event –, the 35-year-old Harry and former US actress Markle, 38, have been embroiled in controversy regarding their relationship with the rest of the royal family and subjected to intense media scrutiny.
They are now parents to eight-month-old Archie.
Harry and Meghan communicated their plans shortly after returning from a lengthy trip to Canada, where Meghan lived for seven years while she was filming the TV series Suits, their stay there forcing them to distance themselves from their royal commitments for about two months.
A few weeks before Christmas, the couple’s problems dealing with the pressure of being in the bright media spotlight all the time were highlighted in a documentary aired on Britain’s ITV television channel.