Queen, Prince Harry to attend summit to discuss surprise stepback

Prince Harry
The meeting will discuss the next steps following the couple's surprise announcement last week. (Geoff Caddick/EPA-EFE via UPI)

LONDON (UPI) — Members of Britain’s royal family will hold a historic summit Monday to deliberate how to handle the decision by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to step back from official duties.

Queen Elizabeth II will attend the meeting with Prince Harry, his brother Prince William and father Prince Charles. Markle may join the summit by telephone from Canada.

The event follows the surprise announcement last week by Prince Harry that he, the Duchess of Sussex and their 7-month-old son Archie would split their time between Britain and North America.

The queen and other senior members of the royal family were disappointed by the move, which was made without prior approval. While they’re expected to detail the next steps of the situation, a finalized agreement is not expected at Monday’s summit.

The couple said in their announcement they wished to create a “progressive new role” within the monarchy, establish financial independence and split their time between continents. Such a transition is unprecedented in modern royal history.

By removing themselves from the traditional roles, Prince Harry and Princess Meghan would no longer be based full-time in Britain — where Harry is sixth in line to the throne after his father, brother and William’s children, George, Charlotte and Louis.

Reporting by Don Jacobson

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