It’s been five days since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dropped their bombshell announcement that they would be stepping back from their duties as “senior” members of the royal family, and, guys, SO much has happened since.
In case you need a refresher, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shocked the world (and the royal family) on January 8 when they issued a statement that they would be working towards becoming financially independent and splitting their time between the United Kingdom and North America.
“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,” the couple wrote in an Instagram post and on their newly refreshed website, Sussex Royal, which was redesigned by the company that built Markle’s now defunct lifestyle site, The Tig.
In the past five days, so many reports—from Queen Elizabeth II’s “groundbreaking” response to Meghan’s next steps (a Disney deal, for starters) and the rumoured feud between Prince Harry and Prince William (which they both denied in an official statement)—have emerged that it’s now harder to keep up with the Sussexes than with the Kardashians.
Below, all the “Megxit” updates you need to know, starting with the most recent Queen Elizabeth statement.
Queen Elizabeth II issues an official statement following the “Sandringham Summit”—and it CONFIRMED that Harry and Meghan will split their time between Canada and the UK
A two-and-a-half-hour family summit (referred to as “Sandringham Summit” by royal spectators) convened by the Queen took place on Monday at Sandringham, a royal residence in the east of England, with the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince Harry and Prince William in attendance. Meghan was expected to dial in from Canada, as she’d returned to Vancouver Island on Friday to be with her son, Archie, though there is no confirmation yet as to whether or not she joined the call.
In a statement shared by ITV’s Chris Ship on Twitter, the Queen said, “Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family. My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. 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 as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives,” the statement continued. “It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days.”
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) January 13, 2020
Note how she didn’t use Harry’s and Meghan’s royal titles, unlike in the initial statement Buckingham Palace issued immediately following the news of Megxit.
The couple remain patron of all the same charities as before and will spend much of 2020 shaping their soon-to-be-launched #SussexRoyal foundation to respond to the pressing needs of the modern world. pic.twitter.com/nmFrsyf1aE
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 8, 2020
Is this the Queen’s way of acting more grandmotherly towards Harry and Megs, or is it just ice-cold shade? Perhaps time will tell.
Read this next: Every Time The Sussexes Rebelled Against Royal Rules
Meghan signed a voiceover deal with Disney…and Prince Harry helped set it up by chatting with Disney CEO Bob Iger
In what might be part of Meghan’s “progressive new role” within the royal family, the former Suits star is going back to her acting roots and lending her voice to a new, unspecified Disney project to benefit the wildlife conservation charity Elephants Without Borders. And to make matters more interesting, it seems Prince Harry helped set up this new gig for his wife; although, honestly, we’re confident Megs is perfectly capable of landing acting roles on her own, TYVM.
In a video seen on The Shade Room’s Instagram (and circling the Internet, naturally), Harry can be seen talking to Disney CEO Bob Iger at the London premiere of Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King in July 2019. In the clip, Harry can be heard saying, “You know she does voiceovers,” and Iger replies, “Oh, really?”
“Did you know that?” Harry says. “You seemed surprised.” He then gestures over to Meghan, who is casually chatting with Beyoncé and Jay-Z (NBD!), and can be heard saying, “She’s really interested.”
View this post on Instagram
#PressPlay: #PrinceHarry is a real one for putting his wife on😩😍 In a resurfaced video from the UK #LionKing premiere in July of last year, you see #PrinceHarry pitching #MeghanMarkle's voiceover experience to #Disney CEO #BobIger. #TheyBeenPlottingPlotting #WeStanASupportiveHusband 🎥: @dailymail 📸: @gettyimages
According to The Times of London, the deal was signed before Megxit, and Meghan reportedly recorded her part for the film before she left for her six-week holiday break in Canada.
As Town & Country notes, the Sussexes have had previous ties to Disney—while attending The Lion King premiere in London, they shared via social media that Disney had made a donation to their charity work in the environment and conservation space.
Meghan is also reportedly already in talks to work with fashion brands
According to The Sun, Meghan is using her connections in the fashion world to work with big brands, including Givenchy. A source told the publication, “Meghan is very connected in the fashion industry and there are a lot of major labels who would like to partner with her on projects. There have already been active discussions with Givenchy. Some of these deals could be worth millions of pounds. I’m sure she is going to link some of the initiatives to their foundation.”
Given that Meghan has already worked closely with fashion labels in the past (in her pre-royal days, she created two capsule collections with Reitmans, and, more recently, she worked with several fashion-industry collaborators to launch a capsule collection called “The Smart Set,” which helped benefit underprivileged women who were in the process of preparing for job interviews), this seems like a natural next step.
Prince Harry and Prince William issued a joint statement about their relationship amid rumours of a feud
Prior to the Queen’s statement, Prince Harry and Prince William issued their own joint statement via their spokespeople to address rumours of a sibling feud.
“Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge. For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”
A joint statement from the spokespeople of Prince William and Prince Harry: pic.twitter.com/H8hqYCHirK
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) January 13, 2020
According to CNN, the story in question was run by The Times and reported that Meghan and Harry felt “pushed away” by William’s “bullying attitude” and suggested that the brothers “fell out because William wasn’t being friendly towards Meghan” and that the Sussexes were “constantly being bullied.”
The Times also reported that the Duke of Cambridge spoke of his “sadness” at the broken bond with his brother and reportedly told a friend, “I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives, and I can’t do that anymore; we’re separate entities. I’m sad about that. All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the team.”
Rumours of a Meghan and Harry “tell-all” interview are swirling
According to Page Six, Meghan’s American PR team has been in touch with major US networks, including ABC, NBC and CBS, and celebrity talk-show hosts, including Oprah Winfrey, to “explore the possibilities of a sit-down warts-and-all interview.” The publication speculated that the Sussexes would use this “TV threat” to try to secure a better deal at the Sandringham Summit with the Queen.
A source told Page Six that the couple wants to “tell their side of the story” and added, “Meghan feels she’s been silenced and is no longer prepared to be muted. She and Harry feel the royals have been racist and sexist. Her people are actively exploring opportunities.”
These speculations of a tell-all were also fuelled by Prince Harry’s friend Tom Bradby, who wrote an op-ed for The Sunday Times that implied that if the couple were to do a tell-all interview about their departure from the royal family, it would be scathing.
“I have some idea of what might be aired in a full, no-holds-barred, sit-down interview and I don’t think it would be pretty,” said Bradby.
However, Sunday Times reporter Roya Nikkah later tweeted, “Royal sources also say the Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently have no plans to do an interview.”
Royal sources also say the Duke and Duchess of Sussex currently have no plans to do an interview #royalcrisis
— Roya Nikkhah (@RoyaNikkhah) January 13, 2020
So, can we just skip to season seven of The Crown now to get all the juicy deets?