Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince William have instructed their aides to reach a “workable solution” for the future role of Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, within the British royal family, according to a new report.
The senior members of the royal family have asked their teams to work “at pace” with governments and the Sussexes, a Buckingham Palace source told the Press Association, a national news agency for the United Kingdom.
The report came a day after Harry and Meghan stunned the British public with their announcement that they intended to “step back” from their official duties, dividing their time between the U.K. and North America as they “carve out a progressive new role within this institution.”
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The queen and other key members of the royal family were “hurt” by Harry and Meghan’s decision to issue their personal statement Wednesday, according to the Press Association.
The statement said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, as they are formally known, planned to “work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen” while they focused on “the next chapter” of their lives.
In a decidedly brief statement issued after their announcement, the palace suggested the retreat of the Sussexes from their formal roles was far from a done deal.
“Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage,” the palace said. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
In an interview with “TODAY” on Thursday, royal analyst Victoria Arbiter said she believed the queen was “blindsided” by the announcement, which included Harry and Meghan debuting a website outlining their vision for the future.
“When they got back [from spending Christmas in Canada], they did have a discussion with the queen, Prince Charles, Prince William, saying, ‘Look, we want to do something different here,’ but I don’t think any of this information certainly that’s been listed on their website was shared with the senior members of the royal family,” Arbiter said, “and that’s where they were blindsided.”
“What makes it incredibly difficult now is that all of these details have to be ironed out on the public platform,” Arbiter added.