Queen calls emergency meeting after being 'blindsided' by Harry and Meghan

The Queen has called an emergency meeting with the royal family after being completely ‘blindsided’ by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to quit their roles as senior royals.

With Prince Charles currently visiting Scotland, Prince William residing at Kensington Palace and Prince Harry being in Windsor, the Queen is believed to have set up a four-way call with all three of them to discuss the crisis at hand.

Queen Elizabeth II during a tour of the newly opened Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute at Cambridge University on February 2, 2007 in Cambridge, England.
Queen Elizabeth has reportedly called an emergency meeting with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. Photo: Getty Images
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend a Creative Industries and Business Reception on October 02, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Yesterday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they are stepping down as senior royals. Photo: Getty Images

The Queen announced she would be working "together at pace" with the Sussex household, with a source telling People magazine the changes are “expected to take days, not weeks.”

The Queen left in the dark

It comes after reports emerged yesterday that the monarch had no idea the Sussexes were about to cause a furore with their announcement over Instagram and senior members of the family only found out about it ten minutes before the post went live.

A short statement released by the palace just hours after the news broke seemed to back up claims the whole family had been left in the dark.

“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the statement begins read.

“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

 Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend day one of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2019 in Ascot, England.
Prince William and Prince Charles are said to be livid after the announcement. Photo: Getty Images

Reports from the BBC stated that no royals were consulted before the pair went public, describing the palace as ‘disappointed’ and ‘hurt’.

Royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, added that the show of public disharmony confirmed a ‘major rift’.

"This is clearly a major rift between Harry and Meghan on one part, and the rest of the Royal Family on the other,” he wrote.

Royals at war

According to reports, Prince Charles and Prince William have been left absolutely livid by the shock news but came together over the phone to talk the whole thing through.

It’s believed the discussions, set to take place over the coming days, will include members of the government from both the UK and Canada.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle step back

Prince Harry and Meghan shocked the world when they announced they will "step back" as senior members of the royal family and will now divide their time between the UK and North America on Thursday morning.

The couple's groundbreaking decision came in a statement shared to Instagram, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they will work to become financially independent while continuing to "fully support" the Queen.

"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," the couple said in their statement.

"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.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Waves for Change, an NGO, at Monwabisi Beach during their royal tour of South Africa on September 24, 2019 in Various Cities, South Africa.
The Sussexes will split their time between the UK and Canada. Photo: Getty Images

"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."

The couple also unveiled a brand new website following on from their announcement, which detailed plans for their "new working model" as the couple intend to move into a "progressive new role".

The website explains the pair's new media relations policy, as well as looking at the future of their charities and explaining how they will be funded.

At one point, the site explains: "Under the current structure and financing arrangements, they are prohibited from earning any income in any form."

The new system will see them give up their Sovereign Grant income - which comes from the money the Queen gets from taxpayers each year - and instead earn money through commercial deals and charity work.

Sussexroyal.com noted that Harry and Meghan "value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing" - although they will still continue to base themselves at Frogmore Cottage with the Queen's permission, and taxpayers will fund their security.

The detailed website also addresses changes to their approach to the media, including stepping away from the 'royal rota' system and offering access to invited media, as well as offering news via their own official channels and communications.

With extra reporting by Bang Showbiz

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