Queen, Prince Harry, senior UK royals set for crisis meeting as tensions strain
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Queen, Prince Harry, senior UK royals set for crisis meeting as tensions strain

Prince William said to say he’s given up trying to help his brother, who last week shocked the monarchy by announcing he and the duchess of Sussex want more freedom

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2L), US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Prince Harry (R) stand together as they wait to see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II after attending the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England, on December 25, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, (L) and Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2L), US actress and fiancee of Britain's Prince Harry Meghan Markle (2R) and Britain's Prince Harry (R) stand together as they wait to see off Britain's Queen Elizabeth II after attending the Royal Family's traditional Christmas Day church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, England, on December 25, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Adrian DENNIS)

LONDON, The United Kingdom — The UK’s Queen Elizabeth II will host a showdown meeting with her grandson Prince Harry on Monday in an attempt to solve the crisis triggered by his bombshell announcement that he and wife Meghan were stepping back from the royal frontline.

Other senior royals including Harry’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William, with whom he has strained relations, will join the monarch at her private Sandringham estate in eastern England, according to British media.

Meghan will join the meeting via conference call from Canada as they attempt to work out the “next steps” towards a compromise and nip the growing crisis in the bud.

Issues up for debate include how much money the couple will still receive from Charles’s estate, their HRH titles and what commercial deals they can strike, according to the Sunday Times.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Harry as they leave the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, near London, England, May 18, 2019. (Steve Parsons/Pool via AP)

On top of the technical issues, the meeting is set to be a tense family gathering with tensions having apparently pushed some relationships to the brink.

The UK’s Sunday Times reported that Prince William has spoken of his “sadness” at the broken relationship with his brother and voiced sorrow that they are now “separate entities” and that the royal family is no longer a “team.”

“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” the report quoted Prince William as telling a friend. “I’m sad about that. All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the team.”

Britain’s Prince William, left, and Prince Harry attend the opening the Greenhouse Centre in London, April 26, 2018. (Toby Melville/PA via AP)

The younger prince, who has struggled with his role, last year revealed he has been growing apart from his brother, who as second in line to the throne is increasingly pursuing a different path.

Harry has been open about his mental health issues and he and Meghan last year admitted to struggling with the spotlight following their wedding at Windsor Castle in May 2018 and Archie’s birth a year later. The couple have also lashed out at negative news coverage, some of which Harry says was racist — in light of Meghan’s biracial heritage.

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah in Cape Town, South Africa, Sept. 25, 2019 (Henk Kruger/African News Agency via AP, Pool)

Harry, Meghan and son Archie spent Christmas in Canada, with the American former actress returning there this week.

The queen on Thursday demanded that staff work with the couple to urgently find a “workable solution” that would take into account their demands for more freedom.

Several Canadian media reported Meghan had returned to Vancouver island off the country’s Pacific coast, where the family spent the year-end holidays and where baby Archie had remained with his nanny.

Senior royals were caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement that the duke and duchess of Sussex wanted to seek a “progressive new role” and divide their time between Britain and North America.

The queen’s office issued a terse statement the same evening, saying there were “complicated issues that will take time to work through.”

Harry and Meghan said they intended to continue to “fully support” the queen and “collaborate” with senior royals.

They also want to keep their home on the queen’s Windsor Castle estate as their British base, while aiming to become financially independent.

Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, during a visit to Canada House in London, January 7, 2020. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool Photo via AP)

But their desire to live as both members of the monarchy and private individuals making a living was described as a “toxic mix” by David McClure, an investigator into royal finances.

“The history of senior royals making money — the two is a toxic mix. It hasn’t worked well in the past,” he told the Press Association.

“How can you be half-in, half-out — half the week perform public duties and the other half earn your own income with TV, lectures, books? It is fraught with dangers.”

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