THE Queen was yesterday taking control of talks to remove Harry and Meghan from frontline royal duties.
Palace sources said “work was progressing well” to thrash out their future roles, with Her Majesty at the centre of the negotiations.
Harry, 35, had to stay in the UK to deal with the fallout of his decision to quit the Firm rather than fly to Canada with Meghan, 38, on Thursday night.
It is thought that he has still not yet seen his gran face-to-face at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk. Neither has he seen dad Charles at Balmoral nor brother William at Kensington Palace.
Harry and Meghan have told friends they feel “hounded out of the UK” following their bombshell decision to step down from a senior role — revealed by The Sun.
But the pair are "hopeful" that crunch talks to determine their future roles in the monarchy can be concluded "sooner rather than later", according to a source.
It is believed Harry and Meghan will be able to keep their Sussex titles as they were a wedding gift from the Queen-but critics claim the couple will try to cash in on the name .
Even if they choose to give up their HRH status, or the Queen removes it, they will remain Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan.
A day-long series of meetings and phones calls were held by officials trying to work up proposals after the pair abandoned their royal duties.
Yesterday a stern-looking Queen, 93, was pictured driving her Range Rover to a shoot with her grandson Peter Phillips, 42. She has instructed staff to thrash out a “workable solution”.
Talks have also begun with the British and Canadian governments over the couple's security.
Harry and Meghan want to split time between the UK and North America, while keeping their titles and earning their own money.
A royal source said: "It's exceedingly complicated. There's a huge amount to work through.
"For example, their security is determined by the Home Office as it comes from the Met Police budget.
"We also don't know the Sussexes' priorities in terms of what they want to do and how they want to live."
It comes after the pair were warned about a "slimmed-down monarchy" before being "driven out" of the royal family, journalist pal Tom Bradby claims.
The ITV News reporter also claimed the Palace were not "blindsided" by the couple's bombshell announcement they were stepping down as senior royals.
Insiders have revealed the Queen, Prince William and Prince Charles only found about their decision minutes before it broke online.
What we know so far:
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have quit as senior royals
- They defied The Queen's order not to make their bombshell announcement this week, it is claimed
- The royals were locked in crisis talks today over the revelation
- Prince William and Prince Charles only received a copy of the Sussexes' statement ten minutes before it went online
- They want to be 'financially independent' but will still support the Queen
Bradby, who fronted last year's documentary, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey , told ITV News: "It's certainly not true to say the palace were blindsided by this.
"The couple's view was they came back and wanted to talk to the family about their plans.
"It had been made clear to them in their absence there was going to be a slimmed down monarchy and they weren't really a part of it."
Bradby also said the decision follows "really bad personal splits" within the royal family-with the couple feeling like they had been "driven out".
And he warned it might it "looks like it might get worse, not better" for the moment unless the family can broker a "peace deal".
He said: "There've been a lot of fallouts-a lot of harsh things were said around the time of the wedding.
"And it's gone a bit too far. And certainly the rest of the family find Harry and Meghan very difficult and, from Harry and Meghan's point of view, they're just being driven out as they see it. And it's sad."
And Her Majesty didn't have any photos of the couple or baby Archie on display during her Christmas message.
Pals have claimed Harry and Meghan felt "unwelcome" in the family and were sidelined as the monarchy moved towards a future focused on Prince William and Prince Charles.
This is despite the perks the pair have enjoyed since becoming royalty-including a £ 32million wedding at Windsor Castle watched by millions of people across the globe.
They had been due to take up residence in a large apartment at Kensington Palace but they instead moved into Frogmore Cottage after it saw a £ 2.4million renovation paid for by the taxpayer.
Living at the Palace would have meant they were close to the Prince William and Kate Middleton, who had attempted to make Meghan feel welcome by rolling out the red carpet in Christmas 2017.
But the "Fab Four" fell apart at the end of 2018 when Harry and Meghan quit the joint charitable foundation they were all part of amid rumours the two brothers were at war.
And they say they will be "financially independent" in their new lives -but will still be guarded by taxpayer-funded bodyguards.
Insiders now say Prince Harry has “completely changed” since meeting Meghan-said to be the driving force behind their choice.
No other members of the Royal Family were consulted before the shock statement was issued on Wednesday and the "hurt" Monarch was taken by surprise.
Last night there were also reports that Harry and Meghan had agreed to do a sit-down interview with American TV host Gayle King.
Miss King, who is the chief anchor for CBS, was invited to Meghan's baby shower in New York last February and has become a close pal.
The Sun says
HOW do Harry and Meghan imagine Britain will react if they now travel the world amassing a billion-dollar Kardashian-sized fortune from the SussexRoyal brand they have cooked up?
Their plan for global domination as Instagram's “progressive” royal power couple looks fatally flawed.
First it relies on them still being bankrolled by an increasingly enraged public — as they magnanimously “work to become financially independent” despite already being worth sums most of us cannot imagine.
Second, because when they finally deem their wealth vast enough to cut that umbilical cord, their livelihood will still centre around their image as senior royals ... a role they have quit.
The idea of them busily enriching themselves by flogging their part-time royalty to advertisers will disgust taxpayers — both on principle and because this entitled pair will never refund a penny back into Treasury coffers.
The UK public will justifiably demand they be cut off at the ankles, stripped of the titles on which they trade.
What then for plain Meghan and Harry Wales, the narcissist formerly known as Prince?
Who will listen then to their vapid sermons? They might fancy themselves as the new Clintons or Obamas — but they have not earned their platform or status.
They were born into it, or married into it, but gave it up when it all looked too dull, too hard and not enough fun.
Diehard fans will stick by them. They will doubtless make big money. But the firestorm of criticism they have ignited here will become an inferno.
It is a disastrous mess and may get worse. The couple's assumption about the public continuing to fund round-the-clock security in Canada looks premature — and must be reviewed.
Harry is worth £ 30million, Meghan another £ 5million. How much richer must they be before they pay that bill?
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