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The Queen extended an olive branch to Prince Harry by inviting him to Windsor Castle for a four-hour "fireside" chat in which she wished her grandson well and told him he would always be welcome back into the royal fold, according to a report today.
Harry walked to the palace on Sunday from his home, Frogmore Cottage, which is located in the grounds of Windsor Great Park, which itself adjoins Windsor Castle, the Sun reported.
The Sussexes have been allowed to continue occupying Frogmore Cottage but have agreed to pay rent for the property, which they previously had for free.
Harry has been staying at Frogmore Cottage as he engages in his final round of duties as a senior royal after dramatically quitting the frontline of the royal family at the beginning of the year.
Harry and the Queen are said to have had a lunch of poached salmon and salad after the Prince arrived at Windsor Castle at about 1 p.m. on Sunday.
However, the occasion did not turn into a wider rapprochement with other members of his family; Prince William spent the day watching Aston Villa play Manchester City at soccer, and Prince Charles was not present.
A source told the Sun: “The Queen had a lot to talk to Harry about and this was the ideal time for them to both say their piece. When Harry and Meghan announced they wanted to quit, it all happened very quickly and it was very stressful for all concerned.
“Sunday was the first time the Queen has had the chance to talk to Harry on his own and really find out what his plans are. It was a much more relaxed environment, and they were both able to speak their mind.”
The source added: “It’s fair to say she is very upset about him and Meghan leaving, and she would love to see more of Archie, as would Prince Charles and the rest of the family.
“But she accepts at the moment that his mind is made up and he intends to live in North America.
“However she also wanted to make it clear that the arrangement can only work if they do not exploit their royal status and try to ‘cash in’—that’s why she wouldn’t let them use the word ‘royal’ for their foundation.”
The Queen reportedly said that “he and Meghan are always able to come back if they change their minds.”
Meghan is expected to arrive in the U.K. soon as the couple prepare for their final royal jobs together, which will include an appearance at the Commonwealth Day church service on Sunday, which all senior members of the family will attend.