Queen Elizabeth calls family meeting for Monday to discuss ‘next steps’ for Harry and Meghan
Queen Elizabeth will meet with members of the Royal Family on Monday at her Sandringham estate in eastern England to agree on “next steps” after Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, decided to “step back” as senior royals, Buckingham Palace said Saturday.
The palace said “a range of possibilities” was on the table, but the Queen was determined to resolve the situation within “days not weeks” after Harry and Meghan announced their news without consulting the monarch.
As the British media went into meltdown over the news, the Queen moved quickly to take back control, summoning her son and heir, Prince Charles, and grandsons, Princes William and Harry, to a crisis meeting to sort things out.
Elizabeth, who assumed the throne in 1952, has weathered family crises before, and is determined not to let her grandson and granddaughter-in-law weaken the House of Windsor or undermine the monarchy.
Harry’s next scheduled public appearance is a rugby event at Buckingham Palace on Thursday. Meghan, meanwhile, has flown to Canada, where the couple and their eight-month-old son, Archie, spent a six-week Christmas break; according to Reuters, citing British media, Meghan is expected to join Monday’s meeting by telephone if the time difference allows.
Harry, 35, is sixth in line to the British throne, a former British army officer and one of the Royal Family’s most popular members.
He has spent his entire life in the public eye, but has not always been happy with scrutiny by a media he blames for the death of his mother, Princess Diana. She died in a car crash in Paris in 1997 while being pursued by photographers.
Some columnists have been critical of Meghan, depicting her as a meddling American interloper into the Royal Family; others highlighted her biracial heritage with words like “exotic.” In 2017, Harry accused the media of directing “a wave of abuse and harassment” at his wife that included articles with negative “racial undertones.”