The Queen 'spoke to Harry alone' before crisis talks to get his side of the story

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The Queen organised 'crisis talks' with members of the royal family this week following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's announcement that they would be stepping back from their roles as 'senior royals'.

The couple reportedly shared the news without consulting the Queen, and there were discussions at the monarch's Sandringham estate on Monday to work out how the family will move forward without the Sussexes.

The Queen later released a statement confirming that she supports their decision. It reads: 'Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

'My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family.

'Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.'

Many have noted that Buckingham Palace refrained from using their Duke and Duchess titles, throwing their future roles within the royal family into question.

But a new report claims that Harry and the Queen met face-to-face before the exit talks with Prince Charles and Prince William.

Harry is said to have arrived two hours early to explain his side of the story to his grandmother, and Meghan reportedly dialled in from Canada for part of the meeting, although she was reportedly 'barred' from some of the conversation as the family was worried about who could be listening in.

A royal source told The Sun: 'This was about a family coming together to try to heal hurt and be constructive face-to-face.

'They’ve worked out the main issue — that Harry and Meghan want to break away and the Queen has agreed to that.

'Now the finer details need to be worked out by their staff and by the Government.'

It is unclear how the family will move forward following Harry and Meghan's exit, but more details are expected in due course.

Jadie Troy-Pryde
News Editor

Jadie Troy-Pryde is News Editor, covering celebrity and entertainment, royal, lifestyle and viral news. Before joining the team in 2018 as the Lifestyle and Social Media Editor, she worked at a number of women’s fashion and lifestyle titles including Grazia, Women’s Health and Stylist, and now heads the Marie Claire UK news desk.