Keeping it cordial. Prince Harry and Charles’ relationship is far from ideal at the moment—but they are reportedly back on speaking terms.
According to Page Six, the Prince of Wales and his son are talking again after not having seen each other in months. Prince Harry last reunited with his father in April 2021, when the pair both attended Prince Philip’s funeral. Since then, the Duke of Sussex welcomed a second child, his daughter Lilibet Diana, with his wife Meghan Markle—but Charles has yet to meet his granddaughter. For now, the father-son duo is focused on keeping the lines of communication “open,” a source told Page Six.
“Charles was hugely hurt when Harry and Meghan just dumped it on the family they were giving up their roles and moving abroad,” the insider told the site in a report published on December 2, 2021, referring to the couple’s royal exit in 2020. “I don’t think [Harry and Charles] talked for a good while, but now the channels of communication are open,” the source adds, noting, however, that their relationship remains strained. “I don’t think it’s all roses. It’s not like they are sitting down for a heart-to-heart on the phone once a week.”
Tensions between Prince Harry and Prince Charles reached an all-time high nearly a year after the Sussexes’ royal exit, when Harry sat for a tell-all interview with Oprah in March 2021. During the tell-all, Harry described his father as “trapped” by his role in the royal family. Meghan, for her part, also claimed that an unnamed royal family member voiced “concerns” about Archie’s skin color before he was born. “That conversation I’m never going to share, but at the time, it was awkward,” Harry shared at the time. “I was a bit shocked.”
Since the interview, a book about the royal family was released which suggests that it was Charles who asked about his grandson’s skin tone. In Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry and Meghan, author Christopher Andersen, claims that following the news that Harry and Meghan got engaged in 2017, Charles asked his wife, Duchess Camilla, “I wonder what the children will look like?”
Andersen’s book recounts that Camilla was “taken aback somewhat by the question” before replying, “Well, absolutely gorgeous, I’m certain.” Charles, however, allegedly asked more pointedly about Archie’s skin color: “I mean, what do you think their children’s complexion might be?”
According to Andersen, Charles’ comment was “weaponized” within the royal household. “What I’m saying is that on the morning the engagement of Harry and Meghan was announced, in a very kind of benign way, Prince Charles started to muse on what their future grandchildren might look like,” the author said on the Today show on November 29, 2021. “Here’s this beautiful, biracial American woman and the world’s most famous redhead. I’m a grandfather, of course, we all do this, speculate on that. But it was turned into something very toxic, it was weaponized really, by the men in gray who run the palace organization.”
The author went on to claim that Harry confronted Charles and his brother, William, about these comments, to which the pair allegedly told him he was “oversensitive” and “overreacting” to the remark. “That complicated what was already a very complicated situation,” Andersen said. Charles, for his part, has since denied ever making such a comment.
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship—from their wedding and how they met, to the birth of their first son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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