On a mission. Queen Elizabeth II was spotted looking concerned as she drove through her Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, in the wake of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan‘s bombshell announcement.
The 93-year-old royal matriarch donned a cream-colored headscarf and dark utility jacket and sat behind the wheel with a grave face. Her outing came one day after Us Weekly reported that she had called an emergency meeting to continue to work through the shocking news that Harry, 35, and Meghan, 38, planned to “step back” from the royal family.
“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 told Us on Thursday, January 9.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrote in a joint statement one day earlier that “after many months of reflection and internal discussions,” they had decided to transition out of their roles as senior members of the royal family. However, Buckingham Palace officials said the “complicated” discussion was still in its “early stages” at the time of the announcement.
Harry and Meghan took the world — and even members of the royal family — by surprise with their decision to separate themselves from the spotlight. A source told Us on Wednesday, January 8, that Prince William and Duchess Kate felt “blindsided” by the news. The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, appeared uncharacteristically solemn as she stepped out for her birthday celebration one day after her in-laws made headlines.
Amid Meghan and Harry’s “completely unprecedented” exit, CNN reported that the Suits alum had flown back to Canada by herself. Harry, for his part, stayed behind in the U.K.
The retired actress and her husband spent the Christmas holiday in Vancouver Island, Canada, and both have a “strong connection” to the country.
“The Duke of Sussex has visited many times over the years and it was also home to The Duchess for seven years before she became a member of The Royal Family,” the couple wrote on Instagram upon their return to royal duties on Tuesday, January 7.
Scroll down to see more of Queen Elizabeth II’s outing amid the royal bombshell.