It is likely Meghan Markle will participate in the family meeting via phone

By Simon Perry
January 11, 2020 04:00 PM

Queen Elizabeth has ordered a family summit at her home to thrash out what to do about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s wish to step down from senior royal roles.

The Queen will be joined by Harry, his brother Prince William and his father Prince Charles at the meeting at her country home of Sandringham, Norfolk, on Monday, Jan. 13, palace sources told PEOPLE on Saturday.

It is likely the Duchess of Sussex will participate via phone if it happens within the right timeframe, bearing in mind that she is currently in Vancouver Island, Canada.

The high-level meeting to “talk things through,” as the source put it, raises the prospect that a conclusion is in sight to the unprecedented talks to find a solution that works for the Sussexes and the family.

“Following a series of meetings and consultations across the last few days, there is a range of possibilities for the family to review which take into account the thinking the Sussexes outlined earlier in the week,” the palace source said.

Can’t get enough of PEOPLE‘s Royals coverage? Sign up for our free Royals newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!

“As we have said previously, making a change to the working life and role of the monarchy for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex requires complex and thoughtful discussions. Next steps will be agreed at the meeting,” the source shared. “The request for this to be resolved ‘at pace’ is still Her Majesty’s wish. The aim remains days not weeks. There is genuine agreement and understanding that any decision will take time to be implemented.”

CHRIS JACKSON/AFP via Getty Images; ALASTAIR GRANT/AFP via Getty Images; Tim Rooke - Pool/Getty Images; Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Their meeting will be the first time they’ve all been together since Remembrance Day weekend in November.

The meetings that have been taking place between the households of the Queen, Charles, William and Harry and Meghan have also involved the U.K. and Canadian governments.

The source would not be drawn on the timing of Monday’s meeting or whether it was in order to conclude the talks and come to a final agreement.

“There is a range of possibilities for the family to review,” the source reiterated.

But it is clear that the motivation of all, directed by the Queen, 93, is to get this done as quickly as possible.

RELATED: Prince Harry Was Told by Queen and Prince Charles to Hold Off on Announcing Plans: Report

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, stunned the world with their decision to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” on Wednesday. They revealed their plans to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they wrote in a statement on Instagram.

“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment,” they wrote.

“We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.”

Advertisement