Sandringham royal talks: Issues on the agenda following Meghan and Harry announcement

The Queen will meet senior royals at Sandringham on Monday to discuss the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s future role.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry surprised the nation when they announced their plans to step down as senior royals in a statement shared last Wednesday.

Today the Royal Family will meet at the Queen’s Norfolk estate to discuss exactly how the Sussexes’ new role will work.

But what questions will be discussed?

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex depart Canada House on January 07, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The royals are holding talks today to discuss Harry and Meghan's future role. [Photo: Getty]


As senior royals, the Duke and Duchess received police protection officers paid for by British taxpayers.

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It is unknown what level of security they will receive going forward, and who will pay for this.

It was revealed by the Sunday Times the couple’s security may be downgraded, with a protection squad armed with tasers rather than guns.

Official duties

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in their statement that they will “continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages”.

However, it is yet to be seen how much they will participate in official royal duties going forward.

Cashing in on royal status

It is to be seen how much money the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be able to continue to claim from being royals, at the cost of the taxpayer.

Harry and Meghan’s new official website explains that the couple’s plans mean they will no longer receive funding through the Sovereign Grant from the taxpayer. However, it remains unclear how much of their future income they will be able to claim from their royal status.


The couple announced their intention to continue to use Frogmore Cottage as their base in the UK.

This is a royal residence that last year was renovated at a cost of £2.4m by the taxpayer.

As the head of the Royal Family, presumably the Queen will need to give the couple permission to maintain this home.


The couple expressed that they “value the ability to earn a professional income, which in the current structure they are prohibited from doing,” according to the “Funding” page on the Sussex Royal website.

Exactly what form this could take is unknown – Meghan has previously worked as a professional actress, while Harry served in the British Army for 10 years.

This has previously proved difficult for other members of the Royal Family. For instance, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, quit her PR job in 2001 to become a full-time royal following an entrapment controversy.


Meghan Markle grew up in Los Angeles, US, as an American citizen.

Upon her engagement to Prince Harry, Kensington Palace announced she would be applying for British citizenship.

However, it’s unknown whether she would go on to hold dual American citizenship.

With the couple’s announcement they will go on to “split their time” between the UK and North America going forward (and all signs pointing to a more long-term stay in Canada), it is unknown whether Harry will have the right to work or live in this region.

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Baby Archie was born in the UK, but it is unknown what could happen to his citizenship going forward.

Carbon footprint

The Sussexes faced criticism last summer over their private jet usage – they reportedly travelled by private jet more than four times during this period, including a holiday in Ibiza and a visit to Sir Elton John’s £15m villa in Nice in the south of France.

Shortly afterwards, the couple launched a new ecotravel initiative called Travalyst.