The Queen has been seen for the first time since her grandson Prince Harry announced that he and Meghan wanted to step down as senior royals.

She was spotted driving on the Sandringham estate, where she always spends Christmas and the first part of the new year.

While the Family said initially that they were shocked by the timing and the content of Harry and Meghan's announcement, the Family had known since the Christmas holidays that the Sussexes were desperate to find a new role and to loosen their ties with the Monarchy.

The Duke of Sussex and his father, the Prince of Wales, had been in communication for at least a week after initial proposals had surfaced at the end of December.

Harry also wanted to talk it through with his grandmother and requested a meeting with the Queen at Sandringham

The Monarch agreed but the meeting was later cancelled, it's unclear why.

What is much clearer now is that the Royal Family did know about Harry and Meghan plans to take a different course, but they didn't know when the statement would be made nor exactly what it would say.

Either way, the decision by the Sussexes to issue their declaration of independence on Wednesday has forced the Monarchy's hand - and negotiations are happening "at pace".

We are likely to get some initial conclusions by next week.

They have yet to talk about the thorny issue of money.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex say they want to become financially independent - but the biggest share of their income comes from Harry's father, the Prince of Wales, in private money from his Duchy of Cornwall Estate.

We know Prince Charles' children and their families cost the Duchy up to £5 million per year but the exact amount is kept deliberately obscure.

The £5 million for 2018/19 was an increase on the £3.5 million in 2017/18, the year before the royal wedding.

But Prince Charles' office hasn't not started talking about funding as they are still trying to finalising the exact royal role Harry and Meghan will perform in the future.