There has been speculation about whether Meghan, who is in Canada, participated in Monday’s royal summit by telephone.
A source said: “In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join.”
Prince Harry met with the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge for face-to-face talks on Monday at Sandringham, the Queen’s private Norfolk estate.
In her first public comments since Meghan and Harry released their bombshell statement last week the head of state also expressed her regret at the Sussexes’ wish to step back as senior royals.
But she said her family “respect and understand” their wishes for more independence while still remaining a “valued part” of the monarchy.
There will now be a “transition period” in which Meghan and Harry split their time between the UK and Canada.
The move has raised questions over the costs of the couple’s security during their time in North America and who would foot the bill.
Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau was asked during an interview with Global News on Monday whether Canadian taxpayers would have to pay.
He replied: “That is part of the reflection that needs to be had and there are discussions going on.
“We’re not entirely sure what the final decisions will be, what the dispositions are and those are decisions for them.
“I think most Canadians are very supportive of having royals be here, but how that looks and what kind of costs are involved, there are still lots of discussions to have.”