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Queen Elizabeth Calls Emergency Meeting With Royal Family After Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan’s Announcement

Circling the wagons. Queen Elizabeth II reacted to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan’s announcement about taking a “step back” from the royal family by gathering her relatives for an emergency meeting.

Related: Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan: What We Know About Their Path

Queen Elizabeth Calls Emergency Meeting With Royal Family After Prince Harry, Duchess Meghan's Announcement
Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan. Shutterstock (2)

“The Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge have directed their teams to work at pace with governments and the Sussexes’ office to find workable solutions, and this is expected to take days, not weeks,” a palace source tells Us Weekly.

Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, shocked many — including members of the royal family — when they announced via Instagram on Wednesday, January 8, that they want to give up their senior roles. “We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages,” the statement read. “This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son [Archie] with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”

Related: Stars React to Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Stepping Back

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams revealed exclusively to Us that “the other royals didn’t know of the statement” before its release. “It’s totally irresponsible,” he added.

Buckingham Palace seemed to echo the sentiment in a statement on Wednesday, noting that the pair are still in the “early stages” of their discussions. “We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through,” the palace explained.

Related: How Harry, Meghan Will Change Protocols After Stepping Back

According to an insider, Prince William in particular was “incredibly hurt” by the news. “William was blindsided by Harry and Meghan’s decision and statement,” the source said. “There’s still a rift between the two brothers. It’s sad because when they were younger, William would be the first person Harry would go to with big news like this.”

The move stemmed from Meghan’s desire to retreat elsewhere, with an insider telling Us she “is definitely leading the charge on this” because she “doesn’t have a lot of ties to Kensington Palace, the people or the other royals” in London.

As for where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex intend to put down roots, “they’re planning to split their time between Canada and L.A.”

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