The Queen and Prince Charles were unaware of the shock statement Prince Harry and wife Meghan were quitting royal duties.
Prince Harry told senior royals about his plans but was asked to put it in writing.
Instead, he posted the details on his official website.
It’s said his jumping the gun had led to “anger and confusion” in Buckingham Palace.
The couple’s statement said:
“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.”
In a message posted on Instagram, they added:
“It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment.”
Last year Harry and Meghan appeared in a documentary in which they talked about the pressure of being constantly in the public eye.
Harry also issued a swingeing attack on the media accusing some of bullying his wife.
The family has just returned from a six-week break in British Columbia.
The Palace has confirmed discussions are continuing with the young royals on their plans to go to Canada and be “financially independent”.
Those talks are said to be at “an early stage” and will be “complicated”.
A Palace spokeswoman said:
“We understand their desire to take a different approach, but these are complicated issues that will take time to work through.”
The BBC has claimed the Palace is “disappointed” by the couple’s unexpected statement.