- Early next year, the royal exit deal Prince Harry and Meghan Markle struck with Buckingham Palace will expire.
- The couple are expected to engage in a series of "friendly video calls" about extending the deal and Harry reportedly plans to fly to United Kingdom to finalize discussions face-to-face if possible.
- Royal biographer Andrew Morton says the couple's travel plans will be dependent on COVID travel restrictions.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are planning some serious talks with the senior members of the royal family. The Sussexes are reportedly preparing to enter discussions to extend their royal exit deal with Buckingham Palace, which is set to expire on March 31, 2021.
The couple are expected to make a series of "friendly video calls" to senior royals in January before Harry flies to the United Kingdom (if COVID restrictions allow it) early next year for face-to-face talks about the subject, according to a new report from The Sun. Sources told the outlet that the talks are said to be "less confrontational" than the ones that went down at the family's Sandringham summit in January 2020.
Harry and Meghan's top priorities in the talks are reportedly to keep their royal patronages. It was widely reported that Harry was devastated to lose his military titles as part of the couple's initial royal exit deal. The military roles Harry used to hold have been kept vacant since the royal exit and are expected to remain unfilled until at least next summer, however, leaving open the possibility that he could negotiate to get at least some of his military titles back.
"Harry regrets losing those titles and keeping them open for as long as possible keeps that olive branch out," a top aide said of the situation. "Don’t be surprised if they are not filled even after March 31."
According to royal biographer Andrew Morton, the Sussexes' relationship with the rest of the royal family is on the mend and they would like to return as a family for some big milestones in 2021 if travel restrictions are lifted and it's safe to do so. Some of the upcoming royal events Harry and Meghan (and their son, Archie Harrison) would reportedly like to be present for include the Queen's 95th birthday on April 21, Prince Philip's 100th birthday on June 10, and the unveiling of a Princess Diana statue on July 1, on what would have been her 60th birthday.
"Although they will do some of it by Zoom, Harry wants to meet face to face to tie it all up," Morton explained. "Things seem to have calmed down. Harry has been in contact with the Queen more often than you would think. But certain things you need to be there in person to sort. They will need a few weeks. That could be done after April, depending on COVID."
Even though things have improved between Harry, Meghan, and the rest of the royal family, however, royal sources say the royal exit extension details will still be difficult to figure out.
"Expect things to drag past March 31," the top aide told The Sun. "The Sussexes have laid their stall out very clearly."