Queen Summons Royal Family for Emergency Meeting: 'This Is Happening Very Quickly'
"This has moved from shock and a range of emotions to something more constructive," a source tells PEOPLE
The Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William have united to tell their offices to work “at pace” to find a solution to Meghan and Harry’s desire to step away from frontline royal work. They have asked their teams to work with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s office and governments on both sides of the Atlantic on the issue.
“The Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge have directed their teams to work at pace with governments and the Sussexes’s office to find workable solutions and this is expected to take days, not weeks,” a royal source tells PEOPLE.
It’s clear that the monarch, 93, wants to get to a conclusion quickly.
“This has moved from shock and a range of emotions to something more constructive,” the source adds. “It is complicated. This is happening very quickly. And the proof in that is the fact that this will take days and not weeks.”
The palaces need to “talk openly with governments” both here and across the Atlantic, the source continues. “People are trying to work fast through these complicated issues in order to find something that works for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.”
Discussions are focusing on funding for the couple and their team, security and protection, and whether they will have official residences. And then there is the question of what kind of roles they are hoping to fulfill on behalf of the Queen and, if so, whether that includes foreign tours. The governments will be consulted on those key issues, too.
On Wednesday, Harry and Meghan revealed their plans to “carve out a progressive new role within this institution,” they wrote in a statement on Instagram. “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.
“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.”
The source didn’t know if the couple had their sights on Canada or America.
Just hours after Harry and Meghan shared their plan, Queen Elizabeth reacted by saying the conversation is still in “early” stages.
While there was some idea of the couple’s desire to take a different route, as discussions have been confirmed to be taking place, insiders tell PEOPLE that the 93-year-old monarch and senior members of the royal family, including Prince Charles and Prince William, were caught off guard by the release of the couple’s statement on Wednesday.
“There is a lot of hurt about this,” one royal source tells PEOPLE.