16:06 GMT21 October 2020
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    Senior members of the royal family have been locked in talks about how to resolve the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in the wake of a bombshell statement released on 8 January by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, who plan to step back from senior roles in the British Monarchy, seeking to become financially independent.

    Princess Anne and Prince Edward have called on Queen Elizabeth II to sack her private secretary, Sir Edward Young, for failing to handle Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s split from the royals and the Prince Andrew scandal, according to The Sunday Times.

    Sir Edward Young was appointed to his role after Lord Geidt was “removed” two years ago by Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.
    Amid the troubles plaguing the Royal Family, senior courtiers and even members of the family, believed to include Princess Anne and Prince Edward, are reportedly pointing the finger of blame at Young for mishandling the explosive scandals.

    According to The Times, insiders said Young had let down the Queen because his own lack of personal authority rendered him incapable of telling the Royal Princes - Charles, William and Harry - things they did not want to hear in the manner that Geidt was able to.

    “He has not geared up the system to protect the monarch. Very senior members of the royal family think he should go,” a source in the royal household was quoted by the publication as saying, adding:
    “All the guns are blazing at Edward Young.”

    The source added that it has now become a “blame game” and said that Young has failed to be “wise and intuitive”.

    The publication also cited sources as believing that senior officials like Geidt had warned about the potentially explosive situations involving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, as well as Prince Andrew, years ago, claiming this was why the previous private secretary was removed.

    Other sources close to the royals were cited as suggesting that there had been a manifest lack of discipline and things would have been handled differently if Geidt was still occupying the position.

    Sir Edward Young will reportedly be present for crunch talks at Sandringham set for Monday, 13 January.

    Crunch Talks

    Previously, after setting a 72-hour ultimatum to aides on Friday to come up with a solution to the future roles of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the 93-year-old Queen Elizabeth II summoned Princes Charles, William and Harry to her Norfolk Estate for a showdown, with Meghan Markle expected to join the discussions via a conference call from Canada.

    According to The Daily Mail, at Monday’s meeting, Prince Harry will be handed documents, compiled following discussions with HMRC and the Canadian tax authority, that will set out in detail the financial penalties for a range of scenarios that include a so-called hard Megxit involving a permanent move to North America and a soft Megxit if the couple split their time between Britain and overseas and retain full, active Royal roles.

    The Bombshell Announcement

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped a bombshell announcement this week, revealing that they are stepping back as “senior” royals and plan to work to become financially independent, while splitting time between the UK and North America.

    The royal couple had just returned to the UK after the New Year holiday, as they took a six-week break from royal duties to visit Vancouver Island and Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, together with their eight-month-old son Archie.

    Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during a photocall with their newborn son, in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, Windsor, south England, Wednesday May 8, 2019
    © AP Photo / Dominic Lipinski
    Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during a photocall with their newborn son, in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle, Windsor, south England, Wednesday May 8, 2019

    According to sources close to the royal family the Queen was very unhappy with the couple's decision, while Harry's brother Prince William and their father Charles were "enraged".

    The Duke of Edinburgh, 98, was left “deeply hurt” by his grandson's decision and said the couple are “lacking respect”, a source was quoted as saying by The Sun.

    The Duke and Duchess did not consult the Queen or Prince Charles about the contents of the statement before issuing it on Instagram on Wednesday, sources suggest.

    British tabloids had long been speculating that Prince Harry and his wife were being sidelined by the rest of the royals.
    The couple had a tumultuous year, struggling under heightened media scrutiny amid allegations of “royal cracks growing” between them and the rest of the royals.

    The figures of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, are moved from their original positions next to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday Jan. 9, 2020. Madame Tussauds moved its figures of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex from its Royal Family set to elsewhere in the attraction.
    © AP Photo / Victoria Jones
    The figures of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, left, are moved from their original positions next to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, at Madame Tussauds in London, Thursday Jan. 9, 2020. Madame Tussauds moved its figures of Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex from its Royal Family set to elsewhere in the attraction.

    Meghan Markle and Prince Harry became the target of increased criticism after they deviated from royal protocol during the ITV documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.

    In the interview, Meghan Markle vocally admitted her “struggles” as a newly-minted Mother plunged into the media public eye, while Prince Harry opened up on his “different paths” with his brother Prince William.

    Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex formally parted ways from a charity foundation they shared with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to pursue their own charitable project.

    Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an open-topped carriage after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018
    © AP Photo / Aaron Chown/pool
    Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ride in an open-topped carriage after their wedding ceremony at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018

    The decision followed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry creating their own household in March, breaking away from Prince William and Middleton’s headquarters, to take up residence at Frogmore Cottage, with an office at Buckingham Palace.


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    Prince Andrew, Prince William, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth II, Queen, Meghan Markle, Prince Harry
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