Key players in crisis meeting to resolve future of Duke and Duchess of Sussex

Sandringham will host a crisis meeting on Monday aimed at resolving the future role of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex within the royal family.

The aim is to agree the next steps, with the Queen wishing the matter to be resolved at pace.

It is a family meeting, and if officials are present it will be at the request of the royals.

In the room are likely to be:

– The Queen and her private secretary Sir Edward Young

The Queen is head of state and head of the royal family, and will ultimately have the final say in the matter.

As the nation’s longest-reigning monarch, her experience and knowledge on the workings of the institution of the monarchy are unrivalled.

Through the decades, the Queen has weathered the Windsors’ many storms and is a symbol of stability both for the nation and within the royal family.

Although left hurt by Harry and Meghan’s actions, the Queen is not given to rash decisions, and will be approaching the problem in a calm and pragmatic way.

Sir Edward Young (David Davies/PA)
Sir Edward Young (David Davies/PA)

Sir Edward, who has worked for the Queen for 16 years, is responsible for supporting the monarch in her duties as head of state and is the channel of communication between the Queen and the Government.

He previously worked for Granada as head of corporate communications and for the bank Barclays, where he held a range of financial and executive roles.

Sir Edward reportedly played an influential role in getting the monarch to star in the much talked-about 2012 Olympics opening sequence film with James Bond actor Daniel Craig.

– The Prince of Wales and his principal private secretary Clive Alderton

Prince Charles
Prince Charles

Heir to the throne, Charles is the future king and currently bankrolls Harry and Meghan’s public duties through his £21 million-a-year Duchy of Cornwall income.

The prince is a caring, sensitive soul, and is said to be furious at how Harry and Meghan have handled the situation.

He is committed to his royal duty, but will also want his impetuous youngest son, who endured the loss of his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, when he was only 12, and Meghan to be happy.

Mr Alderton is a career diplomat who became Britain’s ambassador to Morocco after a previous six-year stint as an aide at Clarence House between 2006 and 2012.

Always sharply dressed with blond combed-over hair, he regularly accompanied Charles on overseas tours.

Camilla in particular is said to “adore” him, one source told the Times.

Mr Alderton joined the Foreign Office in 1986 and has taken up posts in Poland, Belgium, Singapore and France.

– The Duke of Cambridge and his private secretary Simon Case


When Harry turned 21, he described William as the one person on the planet to whom he could talk to about everything.

But talk of a falling out between the brothers, with William said to have urged his brother to not rush into marrying Meghan, has changed their once-close relationship.

William, who was said to be “incandescent with rage” at the Sussexes’ actions, is a future king, and his position within the royal family is vastly different from sixth-in-line Harry, who has moved steadily down the line of succession and has to carve out his own role.

With a settled family life with the Duchess of Cambridge and their three children – and his work on mental health, homelessness, and conservation – William is viewed as a sensible and stable part of the monarchy.

Mr Case was has been a leading civil servant previously tasked with trying to solve the border issue in Northern Ireland and Ireland during Brexit discussions.

The Cambridge University history graduate, who undertook a PhD in political history at Queen Mary university in London, also served as former Prime Minister David Cameron’s principal private secretary.

He took up the role with Mr Cameron after serving as director of strategy at the intelligence and security organisation GCHQ.

– The Duke of Sussex and the couple’s relatively new private secretary Fiona Mcilwham

Diana, Princess of Wales, a life in pictures
Diana, Princess of Wales, a life in pictures

Harry has always been a favourite with royal fans, who have never forgotten the heart-rending image of the 12-year-old prince walking behind his mother’s coffin.

In his younger days, he was a royal liability – dabbling with cannabis, dressing up as a Nazi and brawling with a paparazzi photographer – before he pulled off a charm offensive as he carried out overseas tours on behalf of the Queen.

Kind and sensitive, Harry also brought humour to his engagements, and won plaudits for his charity work and his openness about his mental health struggles.

But his deteriorating relationship with the press amid his desire to protect his wife and son, and his rash approach to what he wants to achieve, has led to one of the worst royal crises in modern history.

He will be intent on securing his goals as he negotiates the path which will dictate his family’s future.

Ms Mcilwham is a top diplomat and became one of the UK’s youngest ever ambassadors when she was posted to Albania aged just 35 in 2009.

She swiftly impressed in the role, with Albanian journalist Muhamed Veliu telling the Mail on Sunday she “quickly gained huge respect” at a time of mounting political tension over organised crime.

She describes herself on social media as a “wannabe supermum”, where she also lists having held diplomatic posts in Washington, Brussels, Baghdad and Sarajevo.

– The Duchess of Sussex

Duke and Duchess of Sussex statement
Duke and Duchess of Sussex statement

Meghan may have flown back to Canada, but she will likely be dialling into the meeting as the proposals on offer are discussed.

The intelligent, driven American former actress, who is just 20 months into her royal life, will be focused on achieving her key life goals.

Speaking about coping with intense tabloid interest, the duchess has said: “It’s not enough to just survive something, that’s not the point of life. You have got to thrive.”

The duke and duchess said in their statement, they want to “carve out a progressive new role”, and continue to “collaborate” with the Queen, who in fact leads the rest of the royal family rather working alongside them.

– There is likely to be a secretary taking notes of the meeting.