Queen calls crisis meeting over Harry and Meghan bombshell

Rhiannon Mills, royal correspondent

The Queen has called a family meeting to thrash out solutions to Prince Harry and Meghan's decision to step back as senior royals.

In what can be seen as an unprecedented summit, the monarch, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex will sit down together at Sandringham on Monday.

It will be the first time they will have spoken in person since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their statement on Wednesday, announcing their intentions to "carve out a progressive new role within the institution".

Sky News has been told by a palace source that the family will gather in Norfolk to talk things through.

Following a series of meetings and consultations across the last few days, the source said there are to be a range of possibilities for the family to review.

These will take into account the thinking outlined by the Sussexes during the week.

As the palace has said previously, there is an appreciation that making a change to their working life and role within the monarchy will require complex and thoughtful discussions.

The source said that it continues to be the Queen's request and wish that the discussions about solutions happen at pace and are worked out within days and not weeks.

It was made clear that within the family there is agreement and understanding that any decisions will take time to be implemented - and it is not known what time the meeting will take place.

Meetings between senior members of the family may take place behind closed doors, but this is the first time in recent years that the media has been openly briefed about one happening.

It can be seen as a move by the Queen to show that she is taking control of the situation after Harry and Meghan released their statement announcing their plans to step back as senior royals, become financially independent and split their time between North America and the UK.

The couple released the statement without consulting or informing any senior members of the family.

At the time the family were said to be disappointed and hurt.

Any discussions with the family about their future had been at very early stages and there have been suggestions the Queen had even asked her grandson not to go public with his intentions.

It is unclear if other members of royal staff will join the meeting on Monday, but private secretaries will have been heavily involved in drawing up the agenda that the family will be talking through.

We understand it is likely that Meghan might join the meeting by telephone, dependent on what time it takes place.

She is currently in Canada after returning to be with her son Archie, who stayed behind after the family's six-week break over the Christmas period.

It is unclear if or when the duchess might return to the UK - or if Prince Harry will join them in Canada.

He is still expected to attend an engagement at Buckingham Palace on Thursday in support of the Rugby League.

On Thursday, 24 hours after the statement was released, a palace source said that the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge had all directed their teams to work together at pace with governments and the Sussex household to find workable solutions.