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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle reportedly announced their 'step back' plan 'prematurely'

Why did Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drop their shocking statement about stepping back from the royal family when Buckingham Palace says discussions are still "at an early stage"? We may have our answer.

A new report in The New York Times offers more details about the drama surrounding Harry and Meghan's recent announcement that they "intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family" and "work to become financially independent." A statement from Buckingham Palace subsequently described these discussions as "at an early stage," and CNN reports the queen specifically asked Harry not to make the announcement.

The Times is now reporting Harry and Meghan have been discussing this plan for months, and Prince Charles and other royals were set to meet later this month to discuss "different roles" for the two. But even though the queen hadn't signed off yet, Harry and Meghan "felt forced to disclose their plans prematurely" because The Sun, a British tabloid, "got wind of the internal discussions about their status and was preparing a story."

The Sun did publish a report earlier this week alleging Harry and Meghan were "looking to move to Canada for a significant portion of this year as they actively consider their future role in the Royal Family."

The Times report also reveals that Harry called his father while on vacation in Canada to propose the arangement, and Prince Charles requested a proposal in writing. The queen reportedly told Harry "he would need his father's support for her to give her blessing." But "neither of those things happened," the Times says.

With Harry and Meghan's announcement came a new website with their statement and a "funding" page, and this website, according to the Times, was "quietly designed by a firm in Canada with no input from Buckingham Palace." Read more about this story that somehow gets jucier and jucier by the day at The New York Times.