Charles – who was holidaying with his mother, the Queen, in Sandringham at the time –reportedly told Harry he needed more than just a vague idea of splitting from the family that raised him if he was serious about the move, and insisted he email Charles a detailed plan of how it would actually work.
Clearly, the pair were eager to get the ball rolling, as they sent through their draft proposal days later – and, according to palace sources who spoke to the Evening Standard, it was "completely incoherent".
"The money didn’t stack up," reports the newspaper.
"Taxpayers would still be forking out millions of pounds for round-the-clock security, and the tax perks that go with a grace-and-favour home.
The Duchy of Cornwall would still be providing the bulk of the income, hardly most people’s definition of financial independence."
While Meghan and Harry were keen to embark on their new 'independent' life as quickly as possible, the palace also had questions other logistical questions around the couple's immigration status in Canada and whether or not the pair already had commercial deals in place.
There were "complex implications" of the Sussexes plan, and Charles insisted the whole thing needed more time to be nutted out – and it had to be done in person.
"It reached an impasse where his father said, ‘We need to have these conversations in person. This is not something we can negotiate over email,'" a source told UK paper The Times.
Harry agreed, but out of respect for the Queen, also wanted to speak to her about his plans.
"He has been communicating with her on the phone throughout. He wanted to see her, not to negotiate with her but to talk to her grandson to granny, to say, 'This is how we have come to this,'" said The Times' source.
This is where things allegedly fell apart.
Despite initially welcoming to a visit from her grandson, the Queen was unavailable when he came to call – but made it clear that Harry and Meghan were not to announce their plans yet.
Clearly the request fell by the wayside, the prince making his official public announcement on the afternoon of Wednesday, January 8 in Britain – a move that the Evening Standard reports "deeply upset" the Queen, who responded with her own statement.
"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."