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Why Meghan didn't call in, and everything else we know about the Royal Family's "crisis" talk.

It’s fair to say that many of us wish we were flies on the wall as Prince Harry laid out his family’s plans for the future in front of the Queen, his father Charles and brother William during crisis talks in Sandringham on Monday.

But it seems the Palace were scared of exactly that, with a plan to conference Meghan into the chat from Canada abandoned due to security reasons.

It was expected the Duchess would participate via Skype, but given the sensitivity of the topic (an unprecedented never-before-attempted “quitting” of royal life) publications including The Daily Mail report Palace officials deemed a call too risky.

Harry and Meghan announced plans for their future in an Instagram post last Wednesday night, before launching their updated website outlining more details about the nature of their roles.

 

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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

As the royals scrambled to digest the news, the Queen put out a brief statement that she was working with the family on a “workable solution,” before gathering her relatives for crisis talks in Sandringham where she was holidaying.

CNN royal commentator Victoria Arbiter told Ten’s The Project last night that Prince Harry arrived two hours early to the scheduled 2pm sit-down on Monday, to have some one-on-one time with his grandmother, the Queen.

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“It’s the first time he’s seen her since dropping the bombshell and he really wanted to have an opportunity to explain his side of the story and explain what he and Meghan are hoping to achieve,” she explained.

Prince William arrived 15 minutes before the meeting was due to start, and their father Charles only returned to the UK the night before for the chat, after attending a condolence ceremony in Oman for Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.

As the meeting started, the family had lunch together in the “long library,” a room the Princes are very familiar with from their childhood.

Meghan’s involvement in the chat had been widely publicised and as Arbiter explained, “someone particularly clever with computers would have been desperately trying to hone in on that phone call. But they also wanted to make sure no one else was listening at the other end of the line.”

So instead the four family members had a confidential chat – with no risk of intrusion.

Here’s Victoria Arbiter on The Project. Post continues after video.

Video via Ten

The Mail reported Harry then broke off from negotiations to update his wife.

The press release from the Queen that followed the chat has been analysed down to every single word, with commentators referring to it as a remarkably emotional and personal statement – which is somewhat uncharacteristic for the Monarch.

“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,” the Queen’s statement read.

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

“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,” it concluded.

Harry and the Queen
Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Harry in May last year. Image: Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty.

Experts were quick to jump on the fact that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex weren't referred to by their titles, instead being referred to as "Harry and Meghan."

In her chat with The Project, however, Ms Arbiter said she didn't think that was a sign of anything.

"I would be very surprised [if they had their titles taken from them]. At this point there's no reason why Harry and Meghan would lose their titles, but some have said they might relinquish them voluntarily. It all depends how they plan to monetise their brand moving forward, because no one can be seen cashing in on their HRH status," she explained.

As the Queen pointed out, there are complex matters ahead to organise - with money at the centre of that.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a local TV station discussions are ongoing over who will pay the costs of the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes' security for their new life in his country, reported CNN.

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He added that there is a "general feeling of appreciation" for the couple, who spent their Christmas break in Vancouver, where they were welcomed by locals.

But there is speculation growing that Canada will pick up half of the security bill for the young royals - which is close to AUD $2 million all up.

The London Evening Standard reports there are concerns that the large cost could lead to a backlash in Canada and damage the status of the monarchy there.

The other news from the royal camp comes in the form of a joint statement from the Princes themselves, who took it upon themselves to shut down one particular storyline that they simply weren't going to tolerate.

Harry and William's statement read: "Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and 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."

It's believed they were referring to Monday's Times article which alluded to Harry and Meghan's decision being a response to ongoing bullying from William.

Feature image: Getty/Tim Rooke.

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