The British royal family will meet Monday to discuss the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after the couple announced this week they would step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family, a palace source told CNN.
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry will attend the meeting at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, eastern England, the source said. Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is expected to call in to the meeting from Canada.
Meanwhile, Prince William has expressed his “sadness” over the rift with his brother Prince Harry and that the royal family was no longer “a team,” the UK’s Sunday Times reported, citing a friend.
“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” the Duke of Cambridge told a friend, according to the paper.
News of the discussions taking place follows a series of meetings and consultations over the last few days. There are a range of possibilities for the family to review, considering the couple’s thinking that they outlined in their announcement on Wednesday.
Any change in the working life and role of a royal requires complex and thoughtful discussion. It still remains the wish of the Queen that this happens at pace. There is a genuine agreement and understanding that any decision will take time to be implemented.
Inside the Royal family
This will be the first time the senior royals have met since Harry and Meghan made the announcement — in defiance of the Queen’s wishes — that they would step back from their royal duties, seek financial independence and split their time between Britain and North America.
The Duchess of Sussex has since returned to Canada, where the couple spent the holidays with her mother. It’s unclear when Meghan will return to the UK from Canada.
There was said to be a mood of deep disappointment in the palace following the announcement, and senior members of the family are hurt as a result of the news.
In pictures: Harry and Meghan's royal romance
Meghan and Harry’s desire to become “financially independent” has also sparked questions as to how they will be able to do this.
The pair published detailed documents outlining the structure and funding of their household, which revealed they receive 5% of their income from the Sovereign Grant – a lump sum of UK taxpayers’ money given to the Queen every year – and 95% from the Duchy of Cornwall, the private estate controlled by Prince Charles, Harry’s father.
Media reports have suggested that Meghan was independently worth around $5 million before she married Harry, who inherited millions from his mother Princess Diana.
However UK newspaper The Times reports that Charles may withdraw funding from the couple if they completely withdraw from their royal duties.
Observers say the couple are unlikely to struggle for money and could generate income from a UK trademark for their brand ‘Sussex Royal,” which the couple applied for in June, as well as sponsorship or speaking tours.