Royal crisis talks: 13 questions that will need answering

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The implications of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family are to be discussed at an unprecedented summit tomorrow.

Sky News looks at 13 questions the Queen, Charles, William and Harry are likely to address at Sandringham, along with Meghan who may join the meeting over the phone from Canada.

Will the Duke of Sussex keep his place in line to the throne?

Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and the Queen.
Image: The Queen and her three immediate heirs Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George

Prince Harry is currently sixth in line to the throne – behind Charles, Prince William and his brother’s children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. Should the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s family continue to expand, Harry will move down the pecking order.

He will keep his place as an heir, which is due to birth and UK law. Parliamentary legislation has to be introduced to remove a person or change the rules governing the order.

Downing Street has refused to be drawn on Harry and Meghan’s decision – with a spokesman for the prime minister insisting it is a matter for the royal household.

Will they keep their royal titles?

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Official opening of ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park, on October 20, 2018 in Sydney, Australia
Image: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not said they will be relinquishing their titles

In their bombshell statement announcing their desire to step back as senior royals, Harry and Meghan gave no indication they they would be giving up their titles.

Their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, is not a prince. The couple chose not to have an aristocratic title for their child.

Where will Archie be raised?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with baby Archie. Pic: Instagram
Image: Where will Archie be raised – in the UK or North America? Pic: Instagram

The couple have said they plan to conduct their lives between the UK and North America “to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter”.

This has raised questions about their son’s upbringing. For example, where will he go to school?

He is only eight months old so his parents have plenty of time to decide which nursery and/or school he will attend.

Archie remains in Canada, where the family enjoyed a six-week Christmas break.

How will they become financially independent?

On their new Sussex Royal website, Harry and Meghan say they are planning to become financially independent as they “value the ability to earn a professional income” – something they are not currently allowed to do.

The opportunities are vast – from fashion, merchandising, public speaking, book deals, TV and film, through documentaries on the issues they are passionate, to even the creation of their own production company.

Meghan could return to acting if she wishes.

In December, Harry and Meghan trademarked the “Sussex Royal” brand, including 100 items ranging from notepads and socks to counselling services. This could earn them a fortune and make them bigger than the Beckhams and Obamas, according to brand experts.

Will they stop receiving money from Charles?

Although becoming financially independent means the couple will no longer be able to use the Sovereign Grant, this only funds 5% of their costs.

They will still be able to receive income allocated by the Prince of Wales through his private Duchy of Cornwall estate.

It has been suggested Charles has made it clear that any agreement over money depends on the details of their future role and will not be settled until that has been decided.

How will they conduct their tax affairs?

There is no doubt a huge amount of paperwork lies ahead for Harry and Meghan.

Their finances are already complicated – the duke’s main source of income is from his father via the Duchy of Cornwall, which benefits from some tax breaks – and they are about to get even more so following their decision to “earn a professional income”.

The Canadian tax system is based on residency, not on citizenship. Anyone who spends 183 days or more in the country has to pay income tax on their global earnings. In the UK, it’s 90 days.

On Monday, Harry will be given documents compiled after talks with HM Revenue Customs and Canadian tax authorities, and will be warned of the risk of a “double tax” on his income if he divides his time between the two countries, according to The Mail on Sunday.

How will they divide their time between the UK and Canada?

Harry and Meghan
Image: Harry and Meghan have said they intend to divide their lives between the UK and North America

In their statement, the couple said they planned to “balance our time” between the two countries. However, exactly where they will call home is not yet known.

Their plans for the future in terms of work, Archie’s schooling and keeping in touch with both sets of families and friends will likely determine how often they intend to travel back and forth – not forgetting their carbon footprint.

Will they get to keep Frogmore Cottage as their home?

Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Windsor Castle, the new home of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex
Image: The Sussexes have asked to keep Frogmore Cottage as their UK base

The couple have said they plan to continue living at Frogmore Cottage “so that their family will always have a place to call home in the United Kingdom”.

The four-bedroom property is situated on the grounds of Windsor Castle and where a controversial £2.4m refurbishment at taxpayers’ expense was completed just nine months ago.

The Grade 2 listed building is owned by the Queen, and the Sussexes say they have sought permission to continue using the property as a base while they split their time between the UK and North America.

What will happen to their patronages?

The Queen was seen for the first time since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed they were stepping down as senior royals.
Queen seen for first time since Harry and Meghan announcement

According to the sussexroyal.com website, Harry and Meghan will “honour our duty to the Queen, the Commonwealth and our patronages by continuing to support Her Majesty’s “efforts to draw special attention to these groups as patrons of multiple organisations”.

How much official royal work will they do in the UK and overseas?

Harry and Meghan
Image: Harry and Meghan say they intend to continue official royal tours

Despite relinquishing their role as senior royals, the Sussexes say they will continue to “proudly carry out official overseas visits” in support of the Queen and at the request of the Foreign Office.

And after splitting from the joint charity they ran alongside the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in June last year, Harry and Meghan say they are “actively working” to launch “a new charitable entity”, details of which are yet to be revealed.

Their website states: “Their Royal Highnesses support many key causes together as well as independently. They will continue to prioritise these causes, alongside the separate patronages that form part of their proud duty to The Monarchy.”

What commercial deals will the couple be allowed to strike?

MANDATORY CREDIT: Chris Allerton - copyright SussexRoyal NEWS EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO COMMERCIAL USE. NO MERCHANDISING, ADVERTISING, SOUVENIRS, MEMORABILIA or COLOURABLY SIMILAR. NOT FOR USE AFTER FRIDAY JUNE 7, 2019, WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM ROYAL COMMUNICATIONS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE. This photograph is provided to you strictly on condition that you will make no charge for the supply, release or publication of it and that these conditions and restrictions will apply (and that you will pass these on) to any organisation to whom you supply it. There shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photographs (including by way of example only) any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-news editorial use. The photograph must not be digitally enhanced, manipulated or modified in any manner or form and must include all of the individuals in the photograph when published. All other requests for use should be directed to the Buckingham Palace Press Office in writing. File photo dated 08/05/19 of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, joined by her mother, Doria Ragland, as they show their new son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, to the Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle. The intimate private chapel where Archie Mountbatten-Windsor will be christened had to be entirely rebuilt following the devastating Windsor Castle fire.
Team Harry or Team Queen?

Harry and Meghan will be able to free to make whatever commercial deals they want.

However, any future roles they take on for financial gain are likely to attract scrutiny to ensure they cannot be accused of profiteering from their position as members of the monarchy.

Will they continue to have security and who will pay for it?

Meghan
Image: The Sussexes will require constant armed security

Their plans for financial autonomy are not going to extend to covering the costs of security, according to the Sussexes.

Harry and Meghan are deemed “internationally protected people” by the Home Office, so they require constant armed security from the Metropolitan Police.

The couple have said this arrangement will continue, but added that they cannot provide a breakdown of costs because the government says this “could compromise the integrity of these arrangements and affect the security of the individual protected”.

However, non-senior royals don’t usually have full-time protection officers, so it is possible that they could end up paying toward this.

Will taxpayers still fund their lifestyle?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle watch Wheelchair Tennis at the 2017 Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada
Image: Prince Harry and Meghan say they will continue to pay for their own private trips abroad

In terms of security, most likely. And If they get to keep Frogmore Cottage – which had a taxpayer-funded upgrade before the couple moved in.

Their website states “Frogmore Cottage will continue to be the property of Her Majesty the Queen”. Therefore the bill for any further works at the property are likely to be picked up by the Queen, through the Sovereign Grant, which covers upkeep and renovation on certain homes operated by The Crown.

The couple travel widely, and aside from official royal tours – the costs of which are covered by the Sovereign Grant – Harry and Meghan say they will continue to pay for their overseas trips themselves.

“All travel arrangements undertaken by The Duke and Duchess in their private time have always been and will continue to be paid for privately and not by UK taxpayers,” sussexroyal.com states.

Royal crisis talks: 13 questions that will need answering

The implications of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision to step back as senior members of the Royal Family are to be discussed at an unprecedented summit tomorrow. Sky News looks at 13 questions the Queen, Charles, William and Harry are likely to address at Sandringham, along with Meghan who may join the meeting over the phone from Canada.

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