Prince Harry Reunites with the Queen for Lunch as He and Meghan Markle Prepare Their Royal Exit

Royal sources deny that the meeting was a top level summit to discuss his decision to step down as a working royal

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry reunited last weekend as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex prepare for their royal exit on March 31.

The 93-year-old monarch hosted her grandson for lunch on Sunday, PEOPLE confirms. The lunch was held at Windsor Castle, close to Frogmore Cottage, where Harry and Meghan Markle will be staying as they carry out their final round of royal engagements over the next week. It was their first meeting since Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, relocated to Canada with their 9-month-old son Archie.

Royal sources, however, deny that the meeting was a top level summit, and that it was more along the lines of a grandson having Sunday lunch with his grandmother.

In January, the Queen held a royal family summit at her Sandringham estate, along with her son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William, to reach an agreement for Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down as working royals.

Queen Elizabeth II speaks with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
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HRH Prince Harry, Laughs next to HM Queen Elizabeth II as they look out from the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the Trooping the Colour ceremony on June 13, 2009 in London, England
Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth in 2009. Chris Jackson/Getty

After the summit concluded, the Queen shared a rare and emotional statement, revealing that while she would have preferred to have the couple remain senior working royals, she supports her grandson and granddaughter-in-law.

“Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family,” the Queen said in a statement, shortly after the summit concluded. “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.”

Prince Harry chats to Queen Elizabeth II on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15, 2013 in London, England
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry. Chris Jackson/Getty

A few days after the meeting, the Queen released another statement, disclosing the details of what’s to follow for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family,” the monarch said in a statement on Saturday.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life. I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family,” the statement read. “It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.”

Sussex Royals
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The agreement reached between the Queen and the couple last month will be put into effect starting March 31, according to a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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As part of their final round of official royal duty, Meghan and Harry will attend the Endeavour Fund Awards on Thursday, marking their first joint public outing in the U.K. since relocating to Canada. The couple will also be at the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall on March 7.

Meghan will take on her own engagement on Sunday, marking International Women’s Day, before the pair reunite with William and Kate for Commonwealth Day service on March 9. This will mark the two couples’ first joint outing since Remembrance Day in November. The Queen, Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall will also be present for the service.

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