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British Royal Family

Why Duchess Meghan's absence from the Sandringham Summit speaks volumes

The Palace confirmed that Meghan was not present at the meeting with the Queen.

By Jess Pullar
On Monday, January 13, an historic royal moment occurred - the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William attended a crisis meeting at Sandringham together to discuss the future of two of its key family members - Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan.
The meeting was held to nut out the logistics of the Duke and Duchess' desire to step back as senior members of the royal family - and while there was some reluctance, the Queen gave her seal of approval for the pair to go-forth independently.
Naturally, Prince Harry was at the meeting to provide his say in the matter, but interestingly, Meghan was not.
Given the magnitude of the meeting, the move seems unusual from the royals - but there's a very intriguing explanation that could explain why the Duchess did not attend.
Meghan did not attend the crisis meeting at Sandringham on Monday. (Getty)
For context, after Meghan and Harry made the bombshell announcement that they would "step back" as senior royal family members last week, Meghan flew back to Canada with her son Archie - the very place where it's thought the family will move permanently.
As the meeting at Sandringham was called for the Monday, many assumed Meghan would dial into the meeting remotely so that she could still be part of the discussions.
But in a move that took fans by surprise, the palace confirmed: "In the end the Sussexes decided that it wasn't necessary for the Duchess to join."
Note the interesting choice in wording here - use of the phrase "the Sussexes" certainly suggests that it was a call made by Meghan and Harry alone.
In addition, The Daily Mail reported an insider saying: "This was a highly confidential family discussion not a conference call."
The meeting determined the future of the Sussexes. (Getty)
An historic meeting of this magnitude would surely call for every party involved to be present, so was there a reason why Meghan missed out?
Vanity Fair's Katie Nicholl had an intriguing explanation - sources told her that the couple had made up their minds once and for all before the meeting.
"They want to press ahead with becoming independent, living abroad and building their own brand," one of Harry's friends reportedly said.
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Furthermore, Nicholl spoke to another royal source who said the Queen, Charles and William were hopeful that Meghan and Harry might be open to a less dramatic arrangement.
As we all know now, the pair did not reconsider, and the Queen later issued a rare personal statement that pledged her full support to the couple.
But while her statement said one thing, Nicholl reports that Her Majesty is "quietly devastated", according to sources close to her.
Given the scale of Harry and Meghan's choice in the context to royals stepping down, it would be no wonder to see the whole scenario cause a strain on the family - many have likened it to a full-blown abdication.
Harry and Meghan's announcement was unprecedented in the royal family. (Getty)
That being said, there's no denying Meghan and Harry know exactly what they want - and they're certainly well equipped to get it.
The Queen confirmed that the pair wished to become "financially independent" and would begin a transition period where they will live between the UK and Canada.

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