Elton John ‘knew Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were quitting royal duties before the Queen did’, newspaper claims

Elton John knew of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s plans to step back from their royal roles even before the Queen did, it has been reported in the Sunday Mirror.

However, it has since come to light that Elton did not in fact know of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s plans before the Queen, despite what an anonymous ‘royal insider’ has claimed to the tabloid.

A spokesperson said: “The first that Elton heard of the details and timing of Harry and Meghan plans was when the announcement went up on their Instagram.

“It came as a surprise to him.”

Sir Elton was one of Princess Diana’s closest friends and has previously said he felt a “profound sense of obligation to protect” her family after her death.

He has been described as “a rock” to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and recently stepped in to defend them from “malicious” press attacks.

“Elton speaks to Harry and Meghan every day. He’s an inspiration, an almost ‘motherly’ figure,” a royal insider told the Mirror. “He is a constant support, especially to Meghan, and is very protective of them both.”

The couple came under fire for announcing their decision before discussing it with the Queen, who was said to be “disappointed” with the news.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex chat with Elton John as they arrive at the London premiere of The Lion King (Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty)

The ‘news’ comes ahead of a ‘crisis summit’ at the Queen’s home in Sandringham, during which senior members of the royal family will discuss what shape Harry and Meghan’s roles will take in future.

Harry, William and their father Prince Charles will be there in person, while Meghan is expected to join in a conference call from Canada.

A senior Palace source said: “The family will gather at Sandringham to talk things through. Following meetings and consultations there are a range of possibilities for the family to review which take into account the thinking the Sussexes outlined.

“Making a change to the working life and role for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex requires complex and thoughtful discussion. Next steps will be agreed and the request for this to be resolved at pace – days, not weeks – is still Her Majesty’s wish.”

PinkNews has updated this story after a new comment was provided from Elton John’s spokesperson denying the original claim in the Sunday Mirror.