Queen summons Charles, William and Harry to Sandringham to resolve crisis

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Martha Fairlie

The Queen will hold urgent talks with her most senior family members on Monday in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis at the heart of the Monarchy involving Harry and Meghan.

She has called the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex to a meeting at Sandringham where they will try to come up with a plan which, a Palace source said, meets "the thinking the Sussexes outlined" in their statement on Wednesday.

Meghan will attempt to join the high-level meeting by phone from Canada, where she is currently staying with baby Archie.

Those in Harry and Meghan’s office would not confirm when – or indeed if - she was planning to fly back to the UK.

It’s the first time that Princes Charles, William and Harry and the Queen have met face to face to discuss the matter.

Happier times: Things have got tough for Harry and Meghan since their wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018. Credit: PA

It’s been called a “family meeting” and while the Royals will be joined by their closest advisers, it’s not thought there will be any government involvement at this stage.

The four senior Royals will examine what’s been described by royal aides as a “range of possibilities” to review.

The options for them are likely to be set out in a document which has been prepared by courtiers.

The Queen still wants her family and staff to find a new plan “at pace” and would like something on the table “within days”.

But, a Buckingham Palace source warned that the issues at stake are “very complex” and any decisions will “take time to be implemented”.

They added: “Making a change to the working life and role in the Monarchy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex requires complex and thoughtful discussion.”

  • ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger explains Meghan's involvement in the 'family meeting'

Harry and Meghan issued their personal statement on Wednesday when they said they wanted to step back from their current roles in the Royal Family.

They will continue to support The Queen and the Commonwealth but they no longer wish to be permanently based in the UK and want to spend half of their time in Canada.

Harry and Meghan left Archie with friends in Vancouver while they returned to the UK to make their announcement.

It is highly unusual for the Palace to confirm a family meeting of this kind which underlines the severity of the situation for the Royal Family.

One insider made a comparison to Brexit negotiations, suggesting that when a decision has finally been made there will need to be a “transition” period before anything can be actioned.

Prince Harry is sixth in line to the throne.

The focus by the Family in previous weeks was on the Queen and her three male heirs, Princes Charles, William and George but those close to the Prince of Wales say he still sees his son and daughter-in-law, Harry and Meghan, as a key part of his plans for a slimmed-down Monarchy in future years.

But right now, no one know how that will work and what role that will be.

The summit on the Sandringham estate is unlikely to find the definitive solution on Monday but courtiers do want to make some kind of announcement next week.

The official engagements planned next week for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in Bradford, and for the Duke of Sussex in London, will still go ahead, sources confirmed.