When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals and moved overseas, it was absolutely unprecedented. Not only were they leaving the U.K. behind (and seemingly for good), but they were leaving their royal responsibilities behind as well.
This caused a major rift in the Royal Family. Things were already tense between Harry and his brother William. And the relationship between Harry and his father Charles seemed to unravel entirely.
However, many hoped that there would eventually be a reconciliation between Harry and Charles. But now, it looks like the relationship may be over for good. Here’s why.
The rift between Harry and Charles
Things were already tense between Prince Harry and his father after Harry stepped down as a senior royal. But the tension between them didn’t reach a boiling point until Harry and Meghan gave a tell-all interview to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
During the interview, the couple dropped some major bombshells. This included the fact that pressure from the press and Royal Family nearly drove Meghan to suicide. Furthermore, Meghan alleged that one of the royals expressed concerns about the skin color of her unborn child!
Even before the interview, Charles had financially cut off Harry and stopped returning his calls. After the interview, an insider close to the Royal Family told Us Weekly, “Charles is working toward a new slimmed-down monarchy and is freezing Harry out. He’s actually already out.” Furthermore, the source claims, “After the damage Harry has caused the family, he firmly believes that his son doesn’t deserve the privilege of being a royal.”
Another source told the publication that Charles wanted to strongly rebuke Harry and Meghan’s claims from the interview, especially the claim that a family member expressed concerns about Archie’s skin color. However, his desire for a passionate response was “overruled by other members of the family.”
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Focusing on different responsibilities
There are plenty of emotional reasons that Charles has been distancing himself from Harry. But according to some experts, there are some professional reasons as well.
Royal expert Russell Myers offered his theory in an interview with talkRADIO. And as the Daily Mail reports, Myers thinks Harry’s antics are a “distraction” to the Royal Family and that the family simply wants to return to business as usual.
“The rest of the Royal Family are very, very united in trying to get back to business. We have hardly seen them. They have popped up on Zoom calls here and there,” Myers said. “No one has done the real business of monarchy, which is getting out, being among the people and shining a light on different charities, and traveling the world and the Commonwealth.”
Where, then, do Harry and Meghan fit into all this? Myers thinks that “they will be left to try and sort things out on their own.” This is because the Royal Family will focus on “getting Britain back on its feet.”
With Harry and Charles having different priorities, things were awkward when they were thrown back together not long after the Oprah interview.
Harry’s return for Philip’s funeral
The death of Prince Philip rocked the Royal Family and the entire world. And it led to Prince Harry returning to the U.K. for the first time since he set up home in the U.S. It was also the first time since his explosive interview with Oprah.
Once more, fans of the Royal Family were hoping for reconciliation. Funerals are often a time that surviving family members come closer together. But would Philip’s funeral be enough to heal the major rift between Harry and Charles?
Sadly, that does not seem to be the case. One insider close to both of them told Us Weekly, “Charles is still fuming about Harry throwing shade at him and the royal family in the big interview and won’t let it drop.” But the same source notes that Harry isn’t exactly in a forgiving mood, either.
“But to be honest, Harry didn’t go running back to Charles begging for forgiveness either. He still hasn’t forgiven his father for his lack of effort and support after he and Meghan decided to move. The reason Harry went back to the U.K. was to see the queen and to pay his respects to Prince Philip. That’s about as far as it goes.”
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The uncertain future between Harry and his family
It’s easy to believe that if Philip’s funeral couldn’t bring Harry and Charles together that nothing can. However, the two of them may get another chance for reconciliation when Harry returns to the U.K. in July.
Why the return? Back in 2017, Harry and William commissioned a statue of their mother, the late Princess Diana. And Kensington Palace will install and unveil the statue on July 1. The date marks Diana’s birthday.
Because both Harry and William commissioned the statue and will be there for the unveiling, supporters of the Royal Family are hoping these estranged brothers can find some peace together. And while he is back in town, maybe Harry and Charles can finally bury the hatchet for good.