The Queen spoke to Prince Harry at Sandringham before the Royal crisis summit as she pleaded with him to stay full-time in the Royal Family, according to reports.
Her Majesty, Prince Charles and Prince William met for the face-to-face crunch talks at Sandringham, with Meghan dialling in from Canada for part of the meeting.
But the Duke of Sussex is understood to have arrived at Her Majesty’s Sandringham estate more than two hours before he was due to sit down with other senior Royals.
Harry wanted to put his side of the story to the Queen, who came into the crunch talks deeply saddened that he and Meghan wish to step back from their official duties.
A well-placed source told The Sun that Meghan, 38, did dial in by conference call from Vancouver Island for some — but not all — of the meeting.
A royal source said: “This was about a family coming together to try to heal hurt and be constructive face-to-face.
“They’ve worked out the main issue — that Harry and Meghan want to break away and the Queen has agreed to that.
“Now the finer details need to be worked out by their staff and by the Government.”
Her Majesty released a statement saying the couple will be allowed to step down from their duties and spend time in Canada.
But she said: “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.”
The couple will now go through a “period of transition” that will see them “create a new life as a young family” and spend time in both Canada and the UK.
The Queen said she was “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family”.
She has ordered staff to find a solution “within days” to the remaining sticking points, including the couple’s future funding.
The summit, which took almost four hours, included discussions of the couple’s titles, finances, security arrangements and how they will spend their time divided between Canada and the UK.
Prince Charles is said to have warned the couple they would have to fund their own lifestyles without tarnishing their titles or the Royal brand.
A friend told The Mail: “He doesn’t have unlimited resources. Harry needs to know that.”
Another source added: “There will be strict instructions on branding, for example.
“No one wants to see the Sussexes’ name on a tub of margarine.”
In a deeply personal and sad statement, the Queen said she was “entirely supportive” of their bid to “create a new life”.
But she emphasised that she — and the rest of the royals including Charles and William — wanted the couple to stay.
The monarch made clear her deep disappointment at their decision after yesterday’s Sandringham summit.
The acknowledgement that they will hand over their public funding in order to become ‘financially independent’ appears to give them the licence to strike commercial deals as part of their ‘Sussex Royal’ brand, which some experts predict could be worth at least £400million.
But the outcome is that “what Meghan wants, Meghan gets” — the line Harry is reported to have uttered in a row after the Duchess was stopped from wearing an emerald tiara at her wedding in May 2018.