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Why the Queen has not returned to London amid Harry and Meghan royal crisis

The 93-year-old monarch spends her Christmas break on her Norfolk estate

Danielle Stacey

The Queen has remained in Sandringham in wake of the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex plan to step back as senior members of the royal family. The 93-year-old monarch, along with the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, has directed aides to help her grandson Prince Harry and wife Meghan to find a "workable solution" that will allow them to change their roles.

READ: Prince William, Charles and the Queen agree to help Harry and Meghan step back from royal roles

 

WATCH: The Queen demands 'workable solution' for Harry and Meghan's future

And while discussions are taking place behind palace walls, fans may be wondering why the Queen has not travelled to London. The reason is simply that Her Majesty usually remains at her Norfolk estate until 6 February – a date which is of poignant significance for her. The Queen's father, King George VI, passed away in Sandringham on 6 February 1952. The then Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, were in Kenya at the time of the King's death and following the sad news, they immediately returned to the UK. Elizabeth ascended the throne and her coronation took place on 2 June 1953. The Queen became the longest-reigning British monarch in September 2015.

The monarch arrived in Sandringham for her Christmas break on 20 December and stunned fellow commuters as she took a scheduled train from London to King's Lynn. Prince Philip was admitted to King Edward VII Hospital in London for observation and treatment in relation to a "pre-existing condition" on the same day. The 98-year-old Duke spent four nights in hospital before returning to Sandringham in time for Christmas.

MORE: Members of royal family 'deeply hurt' after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step back from royal duties

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The Queen arriving in Sandringham in December

Buckingham Palace released a statement shortly after the Sussexes' shock announcement on Wednesday, which read: "Discussions with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are at an early stage. We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through."

Senior courtiers began discussions on Thursday and sources told HELLO! that they hope to come up with a plan that will allow Harry and Meghan to pursue their vision for their future within days, rather than weeks. "They want to try to do something different and the family is resolved to help them see if it can be done," said an insider. "There is a lot to do, but people are calm and focused on making this work."

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