You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

The Queen 'spoke to Harry alone' before talks while Meghan was 'barred' for parts of it

Mirror logo Mirror 14/01/2020 Ryan Merrifield

The Queen held a private meeting with Prince Harry prior to yesterday's crisis summit - but Meghan was barred from the talks.

The Duke of Sussex, who has been left to weather the storm alone after Meghan Markle flew to Canada, arrived two hours before the crunch meeting with HRH, Princes Charles and William, to have a heart-to-heart with his grandmother alone.

The 93-year-old monarch was said to be bitterly disappointed by the Sussexes' desire to step back from public life while splitting their time between the UK and North America.

However, Harry is understood to have wanted to put his side across before the others arrived, reports the .

Following their chat and a discussion with the three princes afterwards, Her Majesty gave her blessing for a 'transitional period'.

Prince Harry et al. sitting at a table: The Queen and Prince Harry met privately before yesterday's crisis summit, though Meghan was barred from dialling in © Getty Images The Queen and Prince Harry met privately before yesterday's crisis summit, though Meghan was barred from dialling in

But Meghan, who is in Vancouver with baby Archie, was not allowed to dial into the meeting to put her side across, because palace officials were allegedly worried about who might have been listening in.

Her Majesty had been desperate for her grandson and his new wife to remain "full-time working members" of the firm, an official statement said last night, but has now relented.

She is said to have wanted to get a resolution to the problem resolved in days rather than weeks but has admitted producing a workable plan for the Sussexes' desired financial independence has proved "complex" with details still being ironed out.

a car parked on a city street: Queen Elizabeth II and other senior British royals were gathering for the meeting on Monday © AFP via Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II and other senior British royals were gathering for the meeting on Monday

The couple's new website states that 95 per cent of their annual funding comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales’s private estate, estimated at around £2.3million.

And with their intention to relinquish the Sovereign Grant, it is understood Prince Charles made it clear he does not have unlimited funds.

With Harry and Meghan's wedding, as well as fitting out Frogmore cottage, all costing millions, and the Queen wants staff to find a solution sooner rather than later.

Prince Harry wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera: Prince Harry has been left alone in the UK with Meghan back in Canada with Archie © Getty Images Prince Harry has been left alone in the UK with Meghan back in Canada with Archie Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture: Meghan and Harry are keen to work to become financially independent from the Royal Family © Getty Images Meghan and Harry are keen to work to become financially independent from the Royal Family

Any future funding is likely to impose firm rules on their commercial ventures, with the couple expected to look to make millions abroad.

In a statement released at 5pm on Monday from the Palace, the monarch said: "Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. 

"Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

a group of people that are standing in the grass: Members of the media prepare to broadcast from within the Sandringham estate near King's Avenue © Getty Images Members of the media prepare to broadcast from within the Sandringham estate near King's Avenue

"Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.

"It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.

"These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days." 

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Elizabeth II posing for a photo: The Queen is understood to be bitterly disappointed but has given her blessing © Getty Images The Queen is understood to be bitterly disappointed but has given her blessing

With the Queen referring to the Sussexes by their first names, some royal experts believe this suggests she will strip them of their titles.

Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter tweeted: "I do think it was very striking, particularly in a statement from the Queen. Are they having to give up their titles? This would be an indication they are..."

Royal historian Robert Lacey told BBC Radio 4: "It is remarkably hands-on. I mean it may have been processed through officials but this is the Queen, speaking to her people and speaking about her family, and I think coming right through it is the concern she feels."

a person in a suit standing in front of a building: Her Majesty had hoped the Sussexes would remain as full-time members of the family © AFP via Getty Images Her Majesty had hoped the Sussexes would remain as full-time members of the family

While Royal author Penny Junor said she felt the Sussexes are "in a very vulnerable state at the moment" and the Queen's blessing will "take the pressure off them" for now.

"I think they're unhappy, they feel isolated and unloved, unappreciated and they needed careful handling.

"My reading from that statement is that the family has been sensitive to their vulnerability."

Harry arrived at Sandringham through the rear entrance in a blacked-out Range Rover Evoque at 11.20am while William arrived via Anmer Hall at 1.45pm.  

The Prince of Wales left in his silver Audi A6, believed to be heading to RAF Marham, around 15 minutes away, where he boarded a helicopter.

More from The Mirror

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon