Meghan was ‘barred from Sandringham Queen phone talks over eavesdropping fears’

Meghan Markle was reportedly not allowed to phone in for talks with the Queen due to palace officials' fears about who might be listening to the conversation.

The Duchess of Sussex, who is currently in Canada, was essentially barred from parts of the crisis summit at the monarch's Sandringham estate yesterday, it is said.

Harry arrived two hours before the crunch meeting with Her Majesty, Prince Charles and his brother William, to have a heart-to-heart with his grandmother alone.

The 93-year-old monarch was said to be bitterly disappointed by the Sussexes' desire to step back from public life while splitting their time between the UK and North America.

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A Palace insider reportedly said Meghan was not allowed to call in to the meeting due to the sensitive nature of the talks and that no one knew for sure who else might have been listening in.

The source told Mail Online: "This was a highly confidential family discussion, not a conference call.'"

Harry is understood to have wanted to put his side across before the others arrived, reports say.

Following their chat and a discussion with the three princes afterwards, Her Majesty gave her blessing for a 'transitional period'.

Her Majesty had been desperate for her grandson and his new wife to remain "full-time working members" of the firm, an official statement said last night, but has now relented.

She is said to want the problem resolved in days rather than weeks but has admitted producing a workable plan for the Sussexes' desired financial independence has proved "complex" with details still being ironed out.

The couple's new website states that 95 per cent of their annual funding comes from the Duchy of Cornwall, the Prince of Wales’s private estate, estimated at around £2.3million.

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And with their intention to relinquish the Sovereign Grant, it is understood Prince Charles made it clear he does not have unlimited funds.

With Harry and Meghan's wedding, as well as fitting out Frogmore cottage, all costing millions, and the Queen wants staff to find a solution sooner rather than later.

Any future funding is likely to impose firm rules on their commercial ventures, with the couple expected to look to make millions abroad.

In a statement released at 5pm on Monday from the Palace, the monarch said: "Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family.

"My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family. 

"Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.

"Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives.

"It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK.

"These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days."

With the Queen referring to the Sussexes by their first names, some royal experts believe this suggests she will strip them of their titles.

Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter tweeted: "I do think it was very striking, particularly in a statement from the Queen. Are they having to give up their titles? This would be an indication they are…"

Royal historian Robert Lacey told BBC Radio 4: "It is remarkably hands-on. I mean it may have been processed through officials but this is the Queen, speaking to her people and speaking about her family, and I think coming right through it is the concern she feels."

While Royal author Penny Junor said she felt the Sussexes are "in a very vulnerable state at the moment" and the Queen's blessing will "take the pressure off them" for now.

"I think they're unhappy, they feel isolated and unloved, unappreciated and they needed careful handling," she said.

"My reading from that statement is that the family has been sensitive to their vulnerability."

Harry arrived at Sandringham through the rear entrance in a blacked-out Range Rover Evoque at 11.20am while William arrived via Anmer Hall at 1.45pm.  

The Prince of Wales left in his silver Audi A6, believed to be heading to RAF Marham, around 15 minutes away, where he boarded a helicopter.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment.

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