Queen's aides say announcement on Megxit deal 'imminent'

The Queen's aides were today finalising the details of the Megxit deal with an announcement 'imminent' on the future of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after the couple announced they would quit royal life. 

Buckingham Palace is expected to release a statement on the couple 'imminently' on the terms of the couple's arrangement after Her Majesty ordered her courtiers to come up with a plan 'in days, not weeks'.

It is understood officials are yet to iron out several key issues, including the Sussexes' security, titles and future finances. 

The Standard quoted senior palace officials who are understood to have been working to resolve the crisis 'at pace'.

It came as the Meghan took full advantage of her newfound independence from the Crown as she drove herself to a Canadian airport to pick up a pilates expert pal who jetted in from the US for the weekend.

The Duchess of Sussex was spotted in photos obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com parked outside Victoria International Airport in a Land Rover Discovery on Thursday afternoon.

She appeared to be in high spirits as she chatted with a male companion in the front seat, believed to be personal security, for about 10 minutes until her friend Heather Dorak arrived.

Ms Dorak, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, but lives in California, became Meghan's pilates guru and attended the royal in May 2018 with her husband Matt Cohen. 

She runs the Pilates Platinum brand, which the Duchess started attending in Los Angeles when she starred in Suits.

The friends were also both pregnant at the same time in late 2018, but their children were not with them at arrivals yesterday afternoon.

And Harry and Meghan's staff at Frogmore Cottage are reportedly being 'let go', in the surest sign yet the couple will settle permanently in Canada with the Duchess strongly rumoured never to return.


Meghan Markle never stepped foot inside the shabby Canadian women's refuge that she has been praised for visiting, DailyMail.com has learned.

Nor did she actually meet with any of the 500 at-risk women who use the Downtown Eastside Center in one of Canada's poorest areas.

Instead the Duchess of Sussex went to the Vancouver organization's administrative offices in a former hotel building, where she met only with members of staff, acting executive director Kate Gibson told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.

Logistics for the visit to the center itself would have been too difficult, Gibson explained. For one thing the center only allows in 'women and those who self-identify as women' so Royal Protection Officers would have had to stay outside, she said.

'It would have been a way bigger deal for her to have actually met our clients in a trip to the center,' she added.

Meghan Markle visited employees at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver, Canada on Tuesday to 'offer support' and 'boost the staff's spirits', but never actually met any of the 500 at-risk women served there

Meghan Markle visited employees at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre in Vancouver, Canada on Tuesday to 'offer support' and 'boost the staff's spirits', but never actually met any of the 500 at-risk women served there

On Tuesday, Meghan was seen for the first time since the bombshell news that she was quitting the Royal Family. She broke cover leaving the $14 million mansion where she has been holed up since last week to visit a women's shelter in Canada's poorest neighborhood. Meghan pictured with staffers from  Downtown Eastside Women's Centre

On Tuesday, Meghan was seen for the first time since the bombshell news that she was quitting the Royal Family. She broke cover leaving the $14 million mansion where she has been holed up since last week to visit a women's shelter in Canada's poorest neighborhood. Meghan pictured with staffers from  Downtown Eastside Women's Centre

Kate Gibson, Acting Executive Director Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, shows a photo of staffers posing with Meghan Markle. 'It would have been a way bigger deal for her to have actually met our clients in a trip to the center,' she said

Kate Gibson, Acting Executive Director Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, shows a photo of staffers posing with Meghan Markle. 'It would have been a way bigger deal for her to have actually met our clients in a trip to the center,' she said

Even so, Meghan's visit was fraught with security issues. The offices on the ground floor of the former New World Hotel are just across the street from a tent city that has grown up for the homeless in Vancouver's Oppenheimer Park.

There have been two shootings and one man was beaten to death in the park in the past several months, Gibson said. She described the area as 'shockingly poor.'

Megan visited in an effort to 'offer support' and 'boost the staff's spirits'.  

Meghan also visited another women's group, Justice for Girls, during her trip from the home on Vancouver Island where she is staying. JFG describes itself on its website as an organization that 'promotes social justice and an end to violence, poverty and racism in the lives of teenage girls who live in poverty.'

Gibson cited security issues for complicating Meghan meeting the at-risk women served there, she is pictured above outside the building Meghan had visited

Gibson cited security issues for complicating Meghan meeting the at-risk women served there, she is pictured above outside the building Meghan had visited 

Meghan also visited the non-profit group Justice for Girls in Canada on Tuesday. It was her first public appearance since the couple's decision to quit

Meghan also visited the non-profit group Justice for Girls in Canada on Tuesday. It was her first public appearance since the couple's decision to quit

The Duchess of Sussex was photographed enjoying herself and making notes as she met with the Justice for Girls group in Canada on Tuesday

The Duchess of Sussex was photographed enjoying herself and making notes as she met with the Justice for Girls group in Canada on Tuesday

Each visit lasted around an hour. A Wednesday tweet from JFG said: 'Yesterday, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited to discuss climate justice for girls and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Was great to talk about the importance of a holistic approach to social justice and the power of young women's leadership.'

JFG co-director Zoe Craig-Sparrow told Harper's Bazaar: 'We were very moved by the duchess visiting us despite terrible weather conditions in Vancouver and her very recent arrival.

'We were struck by how engaged and informed she was on the issues we discussed, and how quickly and gracefully she put us at ease.'

Gibson of the Downtown Eastside Women's Center said she was given just 24 hours' notice of Meghan's plan to visit. She got an email saying that 'someone' would like to speak to her, giving a number to call.

This is the building where Meghan visited at the Vancouver organization's administrative offices in a former hotel building

This is the building where Meghan visited at the Vancouver organization's administrative offices in a former hotel building

Oppenheimer Park, now a tent village and home to many homeless residents of Vancouver, B.C sits across the street from the head office of the charity that Meghan visited

Oppenheimer Park, now a tent village and home to many homeless residents of Vancouver, B.C sits across the street from the head office of the charity that Meghan visited 

Meghan's friend explained that the 38-year-old feels she can 'finally breathe' since leaving and has free reign over her life again. They also said Meghan felt that living within the royal family confines was 'soul crushing' and she didn't want Archie around such a 'toxic environment', deciding to leave in part for his benefit

Meghan's friend explained that the 38-year-old feels she can 'finally breathe' since leaving and has free reign over her life again. They also said Meghan felt that living within the royal family confines was 'soul crushing' and she didn't want Archie around such a 'toxic environment', deciding to leave in part for his benefit

On Thursday back in London, Harry made his first major royal engagement since Megxit - and possibly his last - before he will reportedly join Meghan and Archie in Canada in the coming days (pictured)

On Thursday back in London, Harry made his first major royal engagement since Megxit - and possibly his last - before he will reportedly join Meghan and Archie in Canada in the coming days (pictured)

Harry's Instagram story marked what could be his last event as a senior royal, giving fans a behind-the-scene glimpse before the Rugby League World Cup 2020 draw set to a Stone Roses hit with lyrics: 'I'd like to leave the country'

Harry's Instagram story

Harry's Instagram story marked what could be his last event as a senior royal, giving fans a behind-the-scene glimpse before the Rugby League World Cup 2020 draw set to a Stone Roses hit with lyrics: 'I'd like to leave the country'

Harry and Meghan's Frogmore staff are let go: Speculation mounts among courtiers that the couple will settle in Canada and the Duchess will NEVER return to live in Britain in a 'meaningful way' after Megxit

By Rebecca English for the Daily Mail

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s staff at Frogmore Cottage are being ‘let go’, in the surest sign yet the couple will settle in Canada, sources revealed yesterday.

At least two permanent employees – a house manager and a cleaner – are being moved to other duties within the Queen’s household.

Other members of staff who are used on an ad hoc basis, such as chefs, maids and footmen, have been told their services are no longer required at the couple’s Windsor residence.

The home of Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Frogmore Cottage

The home of Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex, Frogmore Cottage

Sources said Harry and Meghan operated Frogmore, on the Queen’s Windsor estate, with a ‘skeleton staff’ and no-one was being made redundant. But it is understood the employees are having to switch jobs as a ‘knock-on effect’ of the couple’s decision to relocate to North America for at least part of the year.

The revelation will fuel speculation among palace officials that the Duchess of Sussex, in particular, will never return to Britain to live in a ‘meaningful’ way.

Eight days ago the couple shocked the royals by publicly announcing that they planned to step down as senior working members of the family.

The Queen, Harry’s 93-year-old grandmother, was said to be particularly hurt by their decision. On Monday, the monarch, Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry held an unprecedented summit at Sandringham to discuss where they went from here.

Afterwards the Queen issued a rare personal statement that made clear her regret that the Sussexes had decided to step down.

But she said she respected their wish to live a ‘more independent’ life and had given her permission for them to spend time in Canada, as well as the UK, while these ‘complex’ matters were being resolved.

The biggest sticking points are understood to be the couple’s desire to earn their own living and how far they should be allowed to ‘commercialise’ their roles, as well as what royal duties they will still be expected to carry out.

'I emailed back that I didn't know who it was and asked for details and for them to give me a call,' she said, admitting that she had an inkling as the number she was given started with 44 which she recognized as the international code for the United Kingdom.

She said the whole visit was arranged very quickly but was affected by bad weather that canceled ferries and threatened flights from the island. Eventually Meghan made the trip by seaplane.

'The weather certainly complicated things,' said Gibson, who heads up the $5.1 million-a-year shelter that employs more than 50 people.

Gibson selected a handful of workers to meet with the duchess but only told them she wanted them for a meeting. She admits there was 'a bit of giggling' when her staff realized who was coming in.

She said Meghan seemed genuinely interested in the work of the center and felt the Duchess had welcomed the opportunity to step back from the pressure of her day-to-day life.

'I found her as a woman who understands how life works for women — hers is just amplified but at the end of the day we are all women. She just doesn't need any more pressure.'

Now Gibson hopes that Meghan might take a long-term interest in the center which provides beds and hot meals for at-risk women, but does not know if that will happen. 'It is certainly not for us to put pressure on,' she said.

Meghan's outings on Tuesday come after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex dropped the bombshell news that they were quitting as senior royals, dividing their time between North America and the UK and working to become financially independent last week. 

The news caught the Royal Family and the rest of the world off guard. 

Meghan and 8-month-old son Archie have been staying at a $14 million mansion called Mille Fleurs in North Saanich on Vancouver Island since last Friday.

She and Prince Harry had stayed there for six weeks around Christmas. Harry is expected to fly back out to reunite with his family next week after hashing out details of the couple's decision to step back as senior members of the royal family.

He carried out his last official duty as a royal, presiding over the draw for next year's Rugby League World Cup at Buckingham Palace on Thursday morning. 

A close friend revealed to DailyMail.com that Meghan feels she can finally 'breathe again' since quitting as senior royal. 

'Meghan felt she had to escape because living within the royal confines was soul crushing,' the friend said. 

The friend said: 'She told her inner circle of friends that her soul was being crushed and that the decision to leave was a matter of life or death - meaning the death of her spirit.

'She also felt like she couldn't be the best mother to Archie if she wasn't being her true, authentic self. Something she felt she couldn't be in the royal family confines.

'She said she didn't want Archie picking up on her stress and anxiety. She felt like it was a toxic environment for him because there was too much tension and pent-up frustrations.' 

Beaming Meghan Markle drives herself to Canadian airport to pick up a friend as speculation mounts among courtiers that she will NEVER return to live in Britain in a 'meaningful way' 

 ByMegan Sheets For Dailymail.comand Martin Robinson, Chief Reporter For Mailonline

Meghan Markle took full advantage of her newfound independence from the Crown as she drove herself to a Canadian airport to pick up a pilates expert pal who jetted in from the US for the weekend.

The Duchess of Sussex was spotted in photos obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com parked outside Victoria International Airport in a Land Rover Discovery on Thursday afternoon. 

She appeared to be in high spirits as she chatted with a male companion in the front seat, believed to be personal security, for about 10 minutes until her friend Heather Dorak arrived. 

Ms Dorak, who hails from San Antonio, Texas, but lives in California, became Meghan's pilates guru and attended the royal in May 2018 with her husband Matt Cohen. She runs the Pilates Platinum brand, which the Duchess started attending in Los Angeles when she starred in Suits. 

The friends were also both pregnant at the same time in late 2018, but their children were not with them at arrivals yesterday afternoon.

5,000 miles away in London her husband Harry made his first public appearance since the Megxit bombshell - and potentially his last engagement as a frontline royal - at the draw for the Rugby League World Cup at Buckingham Palace yesterday. 

And Harry and Meghan's staff at Frogmore Cottage are reportedly being 'let go', in the surest sign yet the couple will settle permanently in Canada with the Duchess strongly rumoured never to return.

Meghan Markle took full advantage of her newfound independence as she drove herself to Victoria International Airport on Thursday to pick up a pal

Meghan Markle took full advantage of her newfound independence as she drove herself to Victoria International Airport on Thursday to pick up a pal

Meghan appeared to be in high spirits as she chatted with a male companion in the front seat, believed to be a security officer

Meghan appeared to be in high spirits as she chatted with a male companion in the front seat, believed to be a security officer

Meghan points as she pulls off after waiting outside arrivals for her friend Heather Dorak, a pilates guru from Texas she met while filming Suits

Meghan points as she pulls off after waiting outside arrivals for her friend Heather Dorak, a pilates guru from Texas she met while filming Suits 

Heather Dorak emerged from the terminal pushing a black roller bag with a black tote slung over her shoulder

Ms Dorak, who hails from in San Antonio, Texas, became Meghan's pilates guru and attended the royal wedding in May 2018 with her husband Matt Cohen

Pilates instructor Heather Dorak emerged from the terminal pushing a black roller bag with a black tote slung over her shoulder

Meghan maintained a low profile by donning a black beanie, over-sized sunglasses and fur-lined black parka

Meghan maintained a low profile by donning a black beanie, over-sized sunglasses and fur-lined black parka

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