Some outlets have run pictures of what appears to have been a car carrying Harry into Sandringham at around 1.45pm, before the summit which was believed to be starting at 2pm. Here are some of the main topics that you imagine would be part of the discussions today:
If the couple seem determined to step back from royal duties, then the royal family may want to step back from honouring them with titles. It is unclear whether the British public would regard removing the titles as petty, or as the right thing to do if the couple are no longer working as part of the royal family. However, the question of titles might not be as pressing as it first appears. Regardless of whether he retains a formal royal title or not, Harry will remain the youngest son of Diana, Princess of Wales. That in itself will guarantee enduring public interest in his life for years to come.
The couple have suggested they will split their time between North America and the UK. However, if Meghan wants to apply for British citizenship she is required to only spend 90 days outside the country.
There’s also the question of whether they can retain Frogmore Cottage, the Grade II-listed house in Windsor they currently use as a base. It was refurbished recently with £2.4m of taxpayer money. It is owned by the Queen.
Living abroad some of the year poses a unique set of security challenges for the royal family to face. The Sussexes would still require 24/7 security protection – but who is going to pay for it? There are reports today that the Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, has suggested his country may be prepared to contribute – although that may not please the Canadian public.
The couple aren’t short of money, either from Meghan’s earnings before she married into the royal family, or from the money that Prince Harry inherited from his mother. But whatever they do to try and bring in an income is liable to be controversial, and open to accusations that they are trading on the royal family’s name. They appear to be willing to give up direct state funding from the sovereign grant which is estimated to make up about 5% of their annual costs. The rest of the money is currently met with revenues from the Duchy of Cornwall granted to them by Harry’s father, Charles.
If the couple split their time between the UK and Canada they may have to split their tax affairs. Both Canadian and UK authorities would stake a claim on revenue earned within their jurisdiction.
Future royal duties and charity work
The couple’s statement that they wanted to step back from being “senior royals” didn’t appear to totally rule out doing some official engagements. One of the topics to be explored at the summit today will no doubt be the extent to which it is practical for them to combine official royal duties with an independent lifestyle, and their own soon-to-be-launched charitable foundation.