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The Queen steps out to attend church service in Sandringham - but her visit is different to usual

The royal is summoning her family to Sandringham on Monday to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's future

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Hanna Fillingham
Hanna FillinghamUS Managing Editor
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The Queen stepped out on Sunday to attend the morning service at Mary Magdalene's church, dressed in a camel coat and co-ordinating hat, and joined by her grandson Peter Phillips. The visit was different to usual for the royal, as prior to their arrival, more members of the public than ever had started to gather near the church in the hope of catching a glimpse of the monarch. When she left later that day, the crowds all clapped. The royal family have been making headlines over the past few days following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's shock announcement to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. The news is said to have hurt the Queen, and angered Prince Charles and Prince William, and a crisis meeting is now set to take place at Sandringham on Monday to discuss Prince Harry and Meghan's future in the royal family.

Watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take a step back from royal duties

the queen sandringham royal family

The Queen stepped out on Sunday to attend the morning church service in Sandringham 

While Harry will be attending the meeting to put across his desired outcome to his family, Meghan is expected to join via a conference call from Canada. The Duchess flew back to Canada where the family have been staying over their break so that she could be with their son Archie, who had stayed over there with a nanny. Courtiers at Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace have been liaising with the UK and Canadian governments to try to find an arrangement that works for both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the royal family, with issues such as funding and security among several being discussed.

MORE: Who will take part in the Sandringham crisis meeting?

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The Queen will be joined by Princes Harry, William and Charles on Monday, while Meghan Markle will join via a conference call

The Queen has been the only member of the royal family so far to speak out publicly about Harry and Meghan's decision. In a statement via Buckingham Palace, a spokesperson for Her Majesty said: "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."

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make website change as they negotiate future

Harry and Meghan's full message announcing their resignation as senior members of the royal family read: "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment."

They spoke about their plans for the future with their eight-month-old son Archie, adding: "We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us 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, including the launch of our new charitable entity. "We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support."

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