To say it’s an unsettling time in the British monarchy is an understatement. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world this week when they released a lengthy statement announcing their intention to ‘step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family’ on their Instagram page.
While many stood back in disbelief, nobody was more shocked than Queen Elizabeth herself, who, it has emerged, knew nothing of the statement ahead of it being issued to the world’s media and press.
In fact, according to inside sources, the 93-year-old, along with Prince Charles and Prince William, first heard the news as they watched it go live on TV.
The MailOnline reports Meghan and Harry did, however, speak to the Queen about their intentions to ‘step back as frontline royals’ ahead of their return from their six-week-trip to Canada.
The Queen is thought to have been receptive of the Sussex’s desires, agreeing to sit down and discuss their wishes when they got back home.
‘To say that conversations about this were at an early stage is an understatement,’ the MailOnline source says. ‘The couple only told everyone just over a week ago. And the reaction was actually very positive.
‘Do the family want this? Of course not. But if [Harry and Meghan] do, then we will work this out.’
Unfortunately the Sussex’s impatience means they wanted the matter resolved sooner than later, unsatisfied by how long it would take the royal households to reach an official decision.
It’s understood they have a bitter taste in their mouth by how they have been treated by the royal family, ”rolled out” to the media as it suits them and ”constrained” when it doesn’t.
It’s been reported Harry was also miffed by the Queen’s decision to release a portrait of herself with just Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George over Christmas.
In fact, the crack in the royal family worsened days before the holidays when the Sussex’s plans for the festive period remained a mystery, so much so, the Queen phoned Harry to ask his intentions.
This is something unheard of the senior royal, who never makes phone calls, not even to her own family.
‘Harry, will you be coming with the family to Sandringham for Christmas?’ the Queen asked, to which his answer alerted her of plans to spent the holidays in Canada with Meghan and Archie.
It’s understood the displeased Queen agreed to publicly support the Sussex’s plans, despite being somewhat unhappy about how they announced the news to her.
The MailOnline reports that sources believe this to be a ‘telling sign’ of the sixth-in-line to the throne distancing himself from his family – including his grandmother.
It was while on their lengthy trip to Canada the pair finalised their decisions concerning their future in the royal family, the MailOnline reports.
‘They were away for seven weeks in a vacuum, thinking and plotting, winding each other up,’ an inside source told the publication. ‘This has been a long time coming in many ways, but the conclusion has been worryingly swift.’
Meghan and Harry’s aides ‘did everything they could’ to stop the statement coming out as it was deemed a ‘hugely disrespectful move,’ however, the pair were keen to ‘push the nuclear button.’
Their secret plans stem as far back as March when it’s understood the royals first registered their official website, sussexroyal.com, hiring a small Canadian company (the same company who Meghan hired to design The Tig) to work on it.