Published On: Mon, Jan 13th, 2020

Royal Summit LIVE: Queen releases statement after talks and demands answers IN DAYS | Royal | News

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s future was discussed at an emergency royal summit in Sandringham today. Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry all joined Queen Elizabeth II at her Norfolk residence to thrash out how Meghan and Harry’s proposed plans for their withdrawal as senior royals may work. While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to step back as senior royals and split their time between Britain and Canada last week, a lot remains to be decided. In a statement released by Buckingham Palace the Queen described the day’s talks as  ‘very constructive discussions’ and said Meghan and Harry will now go through a ‘period of transition.’

The full statement reads: “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.

“It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and
the UK.

“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final
decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

Follow live updates on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry below

Royal Summit LIVE

Royal Summit LIVE: Meghan and Harry will go through a transition period (Image: GETTY)

5.43pm update: Not clear if Meghan was part of talks

ITV’s royal editor Chris Ship tweeted: “No confirmation yet forthcoming about whether Meghan did, or did not, dial into the meeting from Canada.”

5.20pm update: What will Meghan and Harry do after ‘transition period’?

The statement released by the Queen suggests Meghan and Harry will now go through a transition period in which they split their time between Canada and the UK.

While nothing has been confirmed it seems plausible that following this transition period they will be based in Canada full time.

ITV royal commentator Chris Ship tweeted: “If the “transition period” means they will spend time “in Canada and the UK” … is their life post-transition entirely to be spent in Canada?”

Royal summit LIVE

Royal summit LIVE: The Queen’s statement (Image: BUCKINGHAM PALACE)

5.10pm update: Buckingham Palace releases statement on behalf of the Queen

Buckingham Palace has released the following statement following today’s summit.

The statement reads:  “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.

“Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to  live a more independent life as a family while remaining a
valued part of my family.

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.

“It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and
the UK.

“These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final
decisions to be reached in the coming days.”

5pm update: Royals leave Sandringham

Royals have been spotted leaving Sandringham after several hours of talks.

ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship tweeted: The meeting is over. The senior Royals have been seen leaving Sandringham. We await news …”

A statement from Buckingham Palace is expected to be released imminently.

Royal summit live

Royal summit live: Meghan is in Canada while Harry attends talks in Sandringham (Image: GETTY)

4.30pm update: Recap

Prince Harry, Prince William and Prince Charles are currently in talks with the Queen at Sandringham as they attempt to find a workable solution for Meghan and Harry’s planned withdrawal.

The key topics being discussed by senior royals will include:

  • Will Meghan and Harry keep their royal titles?
  • How will they become financially independent
  • The couple’s living arrangements
  • How they will honour their royal patronages while splitting time between UK and Canada
  • Which commercial opportunities will they be able to pursue
  • Will they continue to receive taxpayer funding?
  • How will their security be paid for?

Royal summit live

Royal summit live: Prince Harry and Meghan’s future will be discussed at Sandringham today (Image: GETTY)

4pm update: Talks likely to continue through this evening

Talks at Sandringham have been underway since 2pm and are likely continue through to this evening.

Earlier today Prince William and Harry issued an extraordinary media statement unrelated to the day’s talks.

The two brothers took issue with a newspaper story about the Sussexes being ‘bullied’ out of the Royal Family.

A joint statement by Princes William and Harry dismissing the story read: “Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex & The Duke of Cambridge

“For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”

Royal summit live

Royal summit live: A man with a megaphone has been spotted standing on top of a car and talking to police outside Sandringham (Image: Chris Ship/Twitter)

3.30pm update: Royal talks underway

The royal talks are now underway and with members of the media gathered outside Sandringham, something unexpected and unrelated to the summit has happened.

ITV royal correspondent Chris Ship tweeted a video of what appears to be a man with a megaphone, standing on top of a parked black four wheel drive and talking to police.

Chris Ship tweeted: “Something rather odd has just happened at Sandringham. And it’s nothing to do with #HarryandMeghan. Given it’s a private estate, I suspect the man with the mega-phone will be sent packing soon.”

READ MORE: Meghan and Harry shock reaction: What Prince William said

Royal summit live

Royal summit live: Several key points will be up for discussion today (Image: GETTY)

Royals arrive for crisis talks

According to reports, Prince Harry was spotted arriving at Sandringham at around 11.30am this morning.

Meghan Markle is currently back in Canada with baby Archie and while it has not been confirmed whether she will join the talks, it is expected she may phone in to take part.

Prince William was spotted arriving at Sandringham via a side entrance at around 1.45pm having spent the night as his nearby residence Anmer Hall.

The talks are reported to have begun at around 2pm.

Royal summit live

Royal summit live: Senior royals arrive at Sandringham for talks (Image: Twitter)

What will be discussed?

Meghan and Harry released a joint statement outlining their future plans last Wednesday.

In it, the couple expressed their wish to become “financially independent” while stepping back as senior royals and splitting their time between the UK and North America.

They expressed their desire to continue to honour their current royal patronages and continue their duty to the Queen while carving out a new and unprecedented path for themselves.

The couple seem to want a one foot in one foot out approach to their royal roles and how this balancing act will be achieved while keeping all parties happy will be up for discussion. 

The key topics which are likely to be up for discussion are:

  • Will Meghan and Harry keep their HRH titles?
  • Will their security costs still be met by the taxpayer?
  • Will they still receive funding from Prince Charles’ Duchy of Cornwall?
  • How will they seek to become financially independent?

 

How will Meghan and Harry become financially independent?

Full time working members of the royal family are not allowed to earn their own money.

Part of Meghan and Harry’s decision to step down may be fuelled by their desire to accept more commercial opportunities.

However, the Queen may limit the type of jobs they can do in keeping with a set of rules she laid out in regards to Sophie Wessex and Prince Edward nearly 20 years ago.

The rules advise royals to first consult the Lord Chamberlain before taking on a new business activity, meaning Harry and Meghan would, under these guidelines, have to do the same.

This could create issues depending on how independent they wish to become.

The Lord Chamberlain – currently Earl Peel – is the most senior official of the Royal Household.

The stricter safeguards focused on allowing working royals to undertake official royal engagements alongside – but separately from – their professional careers.

As per the rules, the Lord Chamberlain has to approve new business activities.

He would have to recommend against a royal accepting an invitation to an official engagement which could not be kept entirely separate from any aspects of the business activities of that royal.





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