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 pace with government and the Sussex household to find workable solutions,” a Buckingham Palace source said, according to multiple British media outlets.
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 without consulting any senior royals from the sovereign downwards.
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, seemingly rattled, issued a brief statement of its own, saying discussions were at an early stage and involved “complicated issues”.
The mood in the palace was understood to be one of disappointment and even “hurt”, according to the BBC, while Thursday’s newspapers were full of reports of a family “split” and the queen’s “dismay”.
London’s Evening Standard newspaper said they had “defied clear instructions from the queen” not to go public about any future plans at this time.
It added senior courtiers had warned the couple “will be punished for this”.
Meanwhile Madame Tussauds London said it was moving its waxworks of the pair away from other top family figures “to reflect the upcoming change in the royal line-up”.