The four most senior members of the British Monarchy will meet this afternoon in Sandringham for a summit meeting to determine the future role of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. This meeting is being viewed in the British media as a watershed not only for Prince Harry and his wife’s future but also for the future of the monarchy. While there has been no official confirmation, Buckingham Palace has not denied media reports that the meeting is set to start at around 14:00h and has to be over by teatime. This rigorous regimentation of timings indicates that the Queen is approaching this meeting not as a family affair but as ‘business’. The meeting will be attended by the closes working aides of The Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry. Media reports, again not officially denied, indicated that no spouses will be attending the meeting, not even Prince Philip who has, until very recently, held the royals in tight rein.
The meeting will be held in the Long Library at Sandringham. Formerly an indoor bowling alley, this room is considered less formal than those at Buckingham Palace and Balmoral.
This meeting will configure the way in which the Duke of Sussex and his wife the former Suits actress Meghan, formerly Markle, will interact with the royal’s official business. The Duchess of Sussex has come under increased and severe criticism over the past months and especially lately as she has been perceived to be using her newly acquired royal status for her celebrity status. Following the birth of son Archie and criticism of the big-budget makeover of Frogmore Cottage, Markle complained that no-one was asking her how she felt. This phrase resonated badly with the British audiences who are used to the Queen’s stoic ‘Don’t explain, don’t complain’ mantra. However, persons close to the Sussexes have started leaking information that all was not well. Reports of strained relations between Harry and Meghan stemming from maladjustment to royal life made their way to the press. While these can, in no way be verified, similar leaks had happened in the days when Princess Diana was under pressure. It is understood that while this is a ‘business meeting’ the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William are concerned for the mental well-being of Prince Harry.
It was widely reported that Prince Charles, in line with other monarchies, has been working on a plan to pare down the ‘working Royals’. This would mean that the reliance on the income from taxpayers would decrease substantially. This is one of the problems in the issue which has been raised by the Sussexes’ abrupt decampment. While both Markle and Harry have a private fortune, it is yet to be seen if, for example, the Sussexes will still be allowed to live in Frogmore Cottage as they are hoping to do.
Meanwhile, Prince William, the second in line to the throne has spoken to the press saying how upset he is that this has led to an estrangement between the brothers. Following the death of their mother, William and Harry were extremely close and the close relationship remained when Willaim married Kate Middleton. When Meghan joined the team, the press dubbed them as The Fab Four. Sadly it was not to last. It was inevitable that with the Queen’s advanced age, Prince Charles and Prince William would be taking up more Royal duties and be more in the limelight than Harry and Meghan. The strains that something like this would cause, could be considerable.