Why Duchess Meghan didn't call in to the Royal Family's talks at Sandringham

By Heather Cichowski, with files from Danielle Stacey

On Jan. 13, the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry had discussions at Sandringham about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's future roles after they announced their decision to "step down" as senior members of the Royal Family last week. It was initially reported Duchess Meghan was going to call in from Canada to participate in the meeting, but it appears she didn't end up doing so.

After the couple revealed their news last week, it was reported that Meghan flew out of the UK to Vancouver International Airport and was reunited with son Archie. It was thought she would still be involved in the Sandringham summit by dialing in, but that did not end up happening.

"The Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for The Duchess to join," a palace source reported to HELLO! UK.

MORE: 'I am sure they will find good solutions,' Crown Prince Haakon says of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's future

Duchess Kate, Duchess Camilla and Prince Philip were not involved in the meeting, either. The Duke of Edinburgh was photographed leaving Sandringham by car ahead of the talk. It marked the first time he was seen after he was released from the hospital just ahead of Christmas.

Meghan might not have participated in the discussions, but the talks appear to have been successful. After the meeting, Her Majesty released a statement confirming she agreed to a "period of transition" in Canada and the UK for Harry and Meghan.

The Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour on June 8, 2019 in London. Photo: © Neil Mockford/GC Image

"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family," Her Majesty's statement begins.

"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 it 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."

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