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January 12, 2020

Harry, Meghan hopeful talks on future roles end ‘sooner rather than later’

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P
Pa
January 12, 2020

LONDON: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex hope talks over their future roles in the royal family can be concluded “sooner rather than later”, a source has said.

Harry and Meghan’s plans to step back as senior royals, become financially independent and split their time between the UK and North America were the subject of urgent meetings begun in earnest on Friday after directions from the Queen and other senior royals. It is understood the meetings were “progressing well” with the UK and Canadian governments consulted. Speaking about the duke and duchess, the source told PA news agency: “They, like everyone, are hopeful this can all be worked out, sooner rather than later.

“It is in everyone’s interest for this to be figured out, and figured out quickly, but not at the expense of the outcome.” Harry and Meghan’s plans were announced in a bombshell statement on Wednesday that rocked the royal family and were said to have left the Queen and other senior royals “hurt”.

Broadcaster Tom Bradby, a friend of Harry and Meghan, claimed the couple were made aware, while away in Canada for six weeks, that the monarchy’s focus in the future would be on those at the top of the line of succession.

The ITV News At Ten anchor, appearing on a news programme on his channel, said: “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.”

He said there had been a lot of arguments, adding: “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.”

But the Times reported that palace officials had stressed Harry and Meghan had always been central to the monarchy’s plans, with one aide quoted as saying: “It is strongly disputed that the Sussexes are not at the centre of any future slimmed-down monarchy.”