UK monarchy scrambles for solutions after Harry, Meghan bombshell
LONDON, United Kingdom — The British monarchy scrambled Thursday to find urgent "workable solutions" for Prince Harry and his wife Meghan after their bombshell decision to quit front-line duties caught the royal family off guard.
Queen Elizabeth II, heir to the throne Prince Charles and his eldest son Prince William, Harry's brother, have ordered their aides to work with Harry's household and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government to come up with swift answers to the royal crisis.
"The Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge have directed their teams to work together at
This process is "expected to take days, not weeks", the source added.
Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, rocked the monarchy on Wednesday with an announcement made
The couple said they would now "balance" their time between Britain and North America, rip up long-established relations with the press, and seek financial independence.
They released their shock statement on a pre-prepared new website, their Instagram account and through Buckingham Palace's email communications system.
An hour and 40 minutes later, the palace,
London's Evening Standard newspaper said they had "defied clear instructions from the queen" not to go public about any
It added senior courtiers had warned the couple "will
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said Harry and Meghan announcing this step without the 93-year-old monarch's blessing was "extraordinary".
"This is symptomatic of the fact that they are unhappy with royal roles and feel deeply pressurised," he told AFP.
"They've chosen to... go rogue. The result, therefore, could have very serious consequences."
The couple's decision follows a turbulent year, in which they admitted to struggling in the spotlight, and growing apart from William.
They have also lashed out at negative news coverage and taken several papers to court — another unusual move.
"We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the royal family and work to become financially independent, while continuing
Royal analysts said the changes were unprecedented for senior family members.
"We would have them as members of the royal family carrying out some official duties but also operating privately
Britons passing Buckingham Palace on Thursday appeared surprised at the news.
"They both knew what they were getting into and I think
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, are among the core members of the royal family and — along with William and his wife Kate —
They spent six weeks over Christmas in Canada after speaking of the pressure of being in the spotlight following their fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and son Archie's birth 12 months later.
They skipped the royal family's traditional Christmas at Sandringham, the sovereign's private estate in eastern England, spending the festive season instead with Meghan's US mother Doria Ragland.
Rumours that all was not well with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex surfaced in October when Harry — sixth in line to the throne — admitted that he and William were "on different paths" and had good and bad days in their relationship.
Asked whether she was "not