Prince Charles has a “genuine fear” that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s split from the Royal Family will deepen and become permanent, royal sources have said.
Sources told The Mirror: “There’s a genuine fear from Charles that this could be the beginning of the end for Harry and Meghan’s involvement with the family and that, in his words would be ‘an utter tragedy’.
“Charles has implored everyone to work together to bring them back into the fold before it is too late, as he realises the benefits they have as a couple and indeed for the popularity of the monarchy across the world.
“The message is clear: the stakes are too high to lose one of the family’s greatest assets.”
The source continued that while Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales have discussed a more slim-lined monarchy, plans were for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate, to take on the more formal duties while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Harry and Meghan, were to have been allowed to “spread their wings and have a far more fluid role”.
However, Prince Harry was said to have found processes at Buckingham Palace moving too slowly, resulting in him and his wife making the bombshell announcement on Wednesday that they were to be stepping back as “senior” members of The Firm to carve out “progressive” new lives for themselves.
The statement, reportedly published without the foreknowledge of the Queen or the other members of the Windsor family, published on Instagram set out ambitious plans with the couple setting out what appears to be a half-in-half-out royal life.
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Meghan and Harry said that they planned to become “financially independent”, no longer receiving funds from the Sovereign Grant, whilst also still using the large Frogmore Cottage on the Crown Estate as their UK base, with the couple saying that they plan to “balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America”. It is expected that they may receive funds from the Prince of Wales’s Duchy of Cornwall Estate, and with Harry and his son Archie being the grandson and great-grandson of the Queen, taxpayer-funded security will almost certainly continue.
The Queen has reportedly tasked the remaining senior members of the household and their aides to come up with options for the couple that are both realistic and meet some of these demands. The couple has been warned that suggestions they can continue to serve the Crown and undertake work for private corporations would be “wholly unworkable”.
The Times reported on Saturday that Meghan has allegedly signed a voiceover deal with Disney; while the proceeds are said to be going towards an animal charity, the dealings may still prove a conflict. The couple has already trademarked over 100 items with their Sussex Royal branding.
The talks reportedly require the assistance of home secretary Priti Patel, with The Guardian reporting that the country’s most senior civil servant Sir Mark Sedwill is one of the figures at the negotiating table, as well as aides from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House (representing Prince Charles), and Kensington Palace (representing Prince William), and a representative from the government of Canada, where it appears the Sussexes will be living.
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Negotiations have continued into the weekend, with a source telling the Press Association that talks are, however, “progressing well”.
“They [Harry and Meghan], like everyone, are hopeful this can all be worked out, sooner rather than later. It is in everyone’s interest for this to be figured out, and figured out quickly, but not at the expense of the outcome,” the source said.
Sky News reported that the Queen has summoned her son and grandsons for a family meeting in Norfolk on Monday to discuss solutions to Harry and Meghan’s decision. Meghan may join them by telephone, a source told the broadcaster.