herald

Sunday 26 January 2020

Meghan wasn't on the phone for Palace pow-wow

Prince Harry and wife Meghan have said they hope to have a more ‘independent life’ Pic: Getty
Prince Harry and wife Meghan have said they hope to have a more ‘independent life’ Pic: Getty

Meghan Markle did not join the royal summit with Britain's Queen Elizabeth and senior royals by phone and instead relied on her husband to put their case for a new independent life.

There has been speculation about whether Meghan, who is in Canada with baby son Archie, was able to participate in Monday's discussions convened by the queen at Sandringham.

"In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn't necessary for the duchess to join," a source said.

Transition

Meghan is reportedly the driving force behind the couple's wish to step back as frontline royals, become financially independent and live part of the year in Canada.

After the Sandringham summit the queen issued a statement which sanctioned a new "independent life" for Harry and Meghan - known in the UK as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - away from full-time royal duties.

She said they would begin a transition period living in the UK and Canada.

The move has raised questions over the costs of the couple's security during their time in North America and who would foot the bill.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the costs, and what role they will play in Canadian life, would be the subject of future discussions.

Asked during an interview on Monday whether Canadian taxpayers would have to pay, he replied: "We're not entirely sure what the final decisions will be. I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have."

Harry and Meghan spent six weeks over the festive period based in the Canadian province of British Columbia, staying at an exclusive property on Vancouver Island.

Meghan, a former actress, lived and worked in Toronto during her time starring in the popular US drama Suits, and knows the country well.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he is "absolutely confident" the royal family can resolve the crisis around Meghan and Harry's future roles.

"My view on this is very straightforward: I am a massive fan of the queen and the royal family," he said.

"I'm absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out."

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