NEGOTIATIONS to stop Harry and Meghan leaving the Royal Family saw FIVE proposals drawn up – but all were chucked out by The Queen, it has been claimed.
The emergency talks came as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex allegedly said they felt “cornered and misunderstood” in the family as well as feeling “deeply unhappy”.
Harry and Meghan felt ‘cornered and misunderstood’ during Megxit negotiationsCredit: PA
The crisis – which exploded after the pair’s shock Megxit announcement in 2020 – saw The Firm frantically search for a solution to stop the Sussexes in their tracks.
A series of talks launched after the January 9 statement – which had not been run past Her Majesty – saw The Queen demand all four households “work together at pace” to find a solution.
The crunch negotiations are detailed in new book: Courtiers: the Hidden Power Behind the Crown, by Times reporter Valentine Low.
Reflecting on the pair’s alleged feeling of being “misunderstood” and “deeply unhappy”, Low writes: “If the rest of the institution failed to appreciate that, even if their demands were unreasonable…
“The departure negotiations were never going to end happily.”
And it has now emerged five different scenarios were allegedly considered to keep the Sussexes in the Royal Family in some capacity.
But by the end, The Queen simply said: you’re in or you’re out, according to Low.
MORE IN THAN OUT
One of the proposals at the talks – which started at Charles’ London home Clarence House in the four days after the Megxit statement – suggested the pair be more in than out.
The proposal would see Harry and Meghan spend most of their time being working members of the Royal Family,
This was despite the couple vowing to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family in their statement in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden.
Importantly, the proposal included a vital freedom clause: giving the pair a month a year to do their own thing.
It is not clear who put forward the proposition.
One of the proposals suggested the pair spend most of their time as working Royals but got one month a year to do what they wishedCredit: AP
MORE OUT THAN IN
A second plan was to allow the now California-based pair to have a more distanced role.
Led by Clive Alderton, King Charles’s private secretary, private and communications secretaries from The Queen, the then Cambridge and Sussex households racked their brains.
They suggested the Duke and Duchess could spend most of their time privately – doing what they wanted.
The plan somewhat reflected a desire for Meghan and Harry to step back.
But the offering included a crucial caveat: the Sussexes would be called up to do a select number of royal activities each year.
A second plan was to allow the now California-based pair to have a more distanced role – but jump in on a selected few Royal jobsCredit: AFP
MONEY MONEY MONEY
Finances played a key role in the January 2020 negotiations, which later became known as the Sandringham Summit.
Part of the Sussexes’ desires with Megxit – as outlined in their statement – was to “work to become financially independent”.
But during the discussions on their future aides felt the pair simply could not be members of the Royal Family – even if in minor roles – while also exploring commercial opportunities
According to Low, negotiators warned the Duke and Duchess: “Should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends.”
The Sussexes have since gone on to broker multi-million dollar megadeals with media giants Spotify and Netflix.
Part of the Sussexes desires with Megxit – as outlined in their statement – was to ‘work to become financially independent’Credit: EPA
The book details a “positive mood” in the talks, which involved Simon Case, Prince William’s private secretary, who is now cabinet secretary.
Case played a vital role “talking to both sides”, a source claimed.
But the Sussexes desire to fully depart from the Royal Family – as outlined by the pair before negotiations began – was not considered by aides as necessary – believing a deal could be found.
Meghan reportedly did not dial into the talks – instead she was allegedly kept in the loop by Prince Harry who had travelled to Sandringham in Norfolk to hash out the plans.
The Sussexes desire to fully depart from the Royal Family was not considered by aides as necessary – they believed a compromise could be foundCredit: Rex
Low writes that by the end of the week, the five scenarios had been worked through – but all solutions had to reflect well on The Firm.
Central to the discussions was how the decision on the Sussexes would impact future generations.
Royal author Low stressed how Charles’ private secretary Alderton made stressed the importance of solving the Megxit dillemma to help other families.
This was particularly vital for generations of the Royal Family who were not in the direct line of succession.
No compromises were found after The Queen dealt an ultimatum, with Low revealing: “There was a clear view: you can’t be in and out.”
Harry and Meghan lost all benefits of being members of the Royal Family – from titles to police protection.
And they shortly left for Canada before moving to Montecito, California.
Any decision would have great reverberations for for generations of the Royal Family who were not in the direct line of successionCredit: Rex