Meghan Markle did not phone in for the crisis talks over her and Prince Harry's future role in the royal family, a Kensington Palace spokesperson has confirmed.
But she was not "barred" from the meeting as was reported in the British press, the spokesman said.
The Duchess of Sussex was in Canada with her 8-month-old son Archie on Monday as the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry gathered at the family's Sandringham estate to discuss the Sussexes' wish to move to North America and become more independent.
Meghan had been expected to dial into the meeting via Skype, but the family eventually decided she wasn't needed, a Kensington Palace official said.
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"In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn't necessary for the Duchess to join," they said.
Earlier, royal sources had told local media she was blocked from the talks over fears her call could be intercepted or recorded.
The 90-minute meeting in Norfolk ended with a statement directly from the Queen on Monday.
"Today my family had very constructive discussions on the future of my grandson and his family," it said.
"These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days," it added.
Prince Philip, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge were also not involved in the discussions, which took place inside the estate's Long Library, according to Hello Magazine.
But each of the four family heads were accompanied by their private secretaries, including Sir Edward Young for the Queen, Clive Alderton for Prince Charles, Simon Case for Prince William and Fiona Mcilwham for Prince Harry.
Mcilwham, who worked for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office before joining the Sussex household, has reportedly joked with colleagues over the latest drama.
"I was offered the Iran desk [at the FCO]. That might have been easier".
With the clock now ticking down, negotiations kicked into overdrive on Tuesday.
Prince Harry is scheduled to host the Rugby League World Cup draws for the 2021 men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, but is then expected to fly back to Canada.
In an interview with the Global News television network, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also confirmed his government was now involved.
"I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have," he said.
"There are still a lot of decisions to be taken by the royal family, by the Sussexes themselves as to what level of engagement they choose to have."
One of the main issues yet to be ironed out, for example, is the cost of the couple's security and who should pay for it.
On Monday, Canadian finance minister Bill Morneau said the government had not yet decided if it would help foot the bill.
"We obviously are always looking to make sure, as a member of the Commonwealth, we play a role. (But) we have not had any discussions on that subject at this time," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to weigh in during an interview with BBC Breakfast on Tuesday morning (UK time).
"My view on this is very straightforward," he said.
"I am a massive fan, like most of our viewers, of the Queen and the royal family as a fantastic asset for our country.
"I'm absolutely confident that they are going to sort this out. But they are going to sort it out much more easily without a running commentary from politicians."
Prince William was spotted looking stony-faced as he prepared to get on with his royal duties on Tuesday.
But former BBC correspondent Peter Hunt said his youngest children, four-year-old Princess Charlotte and one-year-old Prince Louis, may benefit from the Sussexes demand for extra freedom in the future.
"Harry and Meghan are breaking the mould of what it means to be a senior royal. Charlotte and Louis may well thank them in the future," he tweeted.