Duchess of Sussex was not barred from Royal talks at Sandringham, says Palace

14 January 2020, 23:26

Harry and Meghan are embroiled in a row over their plans to step back as senior Royals
Harry and Meghan are embroiled in a row over their plans to step back as senior Royals. Picture: PA

By Megan White

Kensington Palace has denied claims the Duchess of Sussex was "barred" from the Royals' crunch talks over Harry and Meghan's future.

The couple are embroiled in a huge row over their plans to step back as senior royals after it emerged they had not consulted the Royal Family first.

After Meghan did not call in to the talks from Canada, where she is currently staying with Archie, it was claimed she had been frozen out of the conversation.

But a spokeswoman told LBC News she did not join after she and Harry decided it was "not necessary" for her to.

She said: “In the end the Sussexes decided that it was not necessary for the Duchess to join."

Harry and Meghan during a visit to Canada House last week
Harry and Meghan during a visit to Canada House last week. Picture: PA

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

But it appears she was happy for Harry to conduct the face-to-face talks with his family about their wishes, without her direct input.

After the Sandringham summit the Queen issued a statement which sanctioned the couple's new "independent life" away from full-time royal duties and 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 with Global News on Monday whether Canadian taxpayers would have to pay he replied: "That is part of the reflection that needs to be had and there are discussions going on.

"We're not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, what the dispositions are and those are decisions for them.

"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.

The duchess, a former actress, lived and worked in Toronto during her time starring in the popular US drama Suits, and knows the country well having lived there for seven years.

The couple plan to split their time between the UK and Canada
The couple plan to split their time between the UK and Canada. Picture: PA

Mr Trudeau said the federal Canadian government had not been involved "up until this point" about what the couple's move to the country will involve.

He added: "There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussexes themselves, as to what level of engagement they choose to have.

"We are obviously supportive of their reflections but have responsibilities in that as well."

The Sussexes enjoyed a "general feeling of appreciation" in Canada, he added.

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

The Prime Minister said: "My view on this is very straightforward: I am a massive fan, like most of our viewers, of the Queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country.

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

He went on to say: "But they are going to sort it out much more easily without a running commentary from politicians."