Charles Used to Be ‘Closer’ to Harry Than William—Here’s How ‘Badly’ His Exit Affected Them

Prince Charles, Prince Harry
Photo: AP Images.

Ever since his royal exit with Meghan Markle, many have been wondering about Prince Harry and Prince Charles’ relationship and where they stand now.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plan to step down from their roles as senior working members of the royal family in January 2020. Since then, Prince Harry has participated in a number of interviews where he has made comments about other members of the royal family—including his brother, Prince William, and his father, Prince Charles. According to royal expert Robert Jobson, Prince Harry’s commentary has hit Prince Charles “quite badly” following what was once a close relationship between the father and son.

“I think that he was closer to Harry and that’s why it’s hit him quite hard with what’s happened with Harry,” the royal commentator, who authored the 2021 book Prince Philip’s Century: The Extraordinary Life of the Duke, said on an episode of True Royalty’s The Royal Beat, according to The Sun.

During Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, the Duke of Sussex revealed that his father had cut off communication with him after he and his wife moved to California in March 2020 instead of returning to London to be with the British royal family. “Because I took matters…into my own hands. It was like, I needed to do this for my family,” Harry said at the time. “This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s got to this point. I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”

Royal well-wishers have since hoped for Harry and Charles to mend their relationship, with many feeling optimistic that a resolution would come after the family reunited at Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021. While Charles, Harry and William reportedly met privately following the Duke of Edinburgh’s burial ceremony, a source told Us Weekly that the Prince of Wales still felt he “may never forgive” his youngest son for his tell-all interview with Oprah—a sentiment that Harry’s grandmother and Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II, isn’t in favor of in the slightest. “With the way things are going, Charles may never forgive Harry, which hasn’t gone down well with Elizabeth,” the insider told the publication in May. “She feels that he’s putting his pride before the best interest of the monarchy. She has enough on her plate dealing with the loss of her husband. It’s drama she can do without.”

Though Harry is said to have a better relationship with his brother, Prince William, the source went on to note at the time that Charles is “more stubborn” than his sons. “They’re definitely not at the point where they speak on a regular basis, but William wants to be the bigger person and set a precedent,” the insider said. “He believes that in order to repair damage and destruction from Harry’s interview, the best approach is to keep things civil with his brother rather than fanning the flames and fighting back with a tit-for-tat attitude…. Elizabeth is proud of William for taking the dignified approach, unlike Charles, who still hasn’t forgiven Harry for dragging his name through the mud.”

Harry’s return to London for Philip’s funeral was the first time he was back in the United Kingdom since he and Meghan left for North America at the end of 2019. Two months later, the Duke of Sussex made a second visit to attend a tribute for his mother, the late Princess Diana. Still, that doesn’t mean Prince Harry and Charles have spoken much during these rare visits. “Unfortunately, Harry and Charles didn’t resolve their differences when Harry returned to the U.K. They barely communicated,” Us Weekly’s source revealed. “There definitely continues to be a huge wedge between the two.”

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