Senior members of the Royal family are feeling 'hurt' by Prince Harry and Meghan shock announcement they would 'step back' from their positions.
The BBC's royal correspondent is reporting the Queen and others in the Royal family were not consulted before her grandson and his wife revealed the move this morning.
The BBC also says it understands senior royals were 'hurt' by the announcement.
Royal Communications today issued a very short statement, saying: "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."
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed their move on Instagram this morning and released the following statement:
"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.
"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."
Former palace press secretary Dickie Arbiter said the move was "unprecedented" and a "breakdown in the royal family", news.com reports.
"Harry was an absolute bonus to the royal family. He had a tremendous attitude to his work. He brought a lot of joy to a lot of people," Arbiter said.
"It is a breakdown in the royal family. Something has gone wrong."
Royal expert Camilla Tominey told the Today show that the Palace would have been "blindsided" by the statement, news.com said.
"It is true to say that the Queen and the palace had no idea this was coming which then explains the statement which is pretty hastily written, kind of one-sentence line and that, for me, smacks of a kind of instant PR reaction — 'we better get something out but we haven't got anything pre-prepared'," she said.
"What's even more interesting about that statement in saying it is in the 'early stages', clearly not according to the Sussexes who have already remodelled and written reams of copy for their new website talking about their relationship with the media and how they want to change it, how they want to change the rules around funding, how they want to change the way they do their charitable work.
"Well, that smacks of something that has been several weeks in the making."
This week, Harry and Meghan returned to royal duties after a six-week break to Canada over Christmas – and it's understood arrangements are now being made to allow them to live there for a significant portion of the year.
Elsewhere, UK broadcaster Piers Morgan has reignited his long-running feud with Meghan Markle, taking to Twitter to post a brutal dissection of her and Harry's decision to walk away from their royal duties.
"People say I'm too critical of Meghan Markle - but she ditched her family, ditched her Dad, ditched most of her old friends, split Harry from William & has now split him from the Royal Family. I rest my case," Piers wrote.
This article was first published on the NZ Herald and is republished here with permission.