Senior royals to gather for ‘crisis summit’: what we know so far

Senior royals gathering at Sandringham to discuss Harry and Meghan’s future

(Image credit: Jim Clarke /AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen has summoned the senior royals to Sandringham today for talks to discuss the future roles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The meeting follows the couple’s shock announcement last week that they intend to step back as senior royals, while working towards becoming “financially independent” from the family.

Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles are set to attend in person, with Meghan Markle expected to join the meeting on the phone from Canada.

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The Daily Mail describes the gathering as a “crisis summit”, while the Daily Express says that the Queen plans to explain to Harry “the true cost of freedom”. The Times adds that the “unparalleled gathering” underlines “the gravity of the predicament that faces the royal family”. CNN labels the meeting as a “royal showdown”.

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The meeting will be the first time that the four have gathered since the Sussex crisis began on Wednesday. The royals will discuss a series of draft proposals drawn up by palace officials and representatives of the UK and Canadian governments in the past few days, according to The Guardian.

The paper adds that discussions will focus on how the pair can take on their “new ‘progressive’ roles as hybrid royals”, with the “country’s most senior civil servant, cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill... reportedly one of the senior figures around the negotiating table”.

After the Queen said last week that senior advisers from all four households should work together “at pace” to come up with a solution to the pair’s wish to step down from their roles, royal aides hope that they can meet the monarch’s instruction to reach a compromise acceptable to all within “days not weeks”, according to The Sun.

A royal source told The Guardian: “There are a range of possibilities for the family to review, which take into account the thinking the Sussexes outlined earlier in the week.” Significant changes to couple’s role “required complex and thoughtful discussions,” the source added.

Among the pressing issues on the agenda, says the BBC, are whether the couple’s existing funding will be cut, how they will earn their money in the future, whether they will keep their royal titles and where they will live.

Other matters to be thrashed out include whether they will still carry out their royal duties, what their foundation will do and questions about the future of their security and their relationship with the media, the broadcaster adds.

With listening such a key part of any tense family gathering, the Daily Record points out that the Queen was spotted in public wearing a hearing aid for what is believed to be the first time as she arrived at Sandringham for the summit.

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