Harry & Meghan's Relationship With This Royal Is "Beyond Repair," Says Source
"Harry is so intent on escalating rather than resolving their differences," an insider said.
What a difference three years make. On this day in 2018, Prince Charles was heralded for his gallant behavior when he stepped in at the last minute to proudly walk his future daughter-in-law, Meghan Markle, (halfway) down the aisle at St. George's Chapel on her wedding day. The camera captured his grateful son, Prince Harry, who was waiting at the altar, turn to his father and say, "Thanks, Pa," before he and his bride stood before the Archbishop of Canterbury to take their marriage vows.
Charles came to rescue once again that day when he escorted Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, to a private area of the chapel where the newlyweds signed the wedding register, witnessed by their families. Well aware of what Doria must have been feeling as the sole relative of Meghan's to attend the wedding, Charles also offered his arm to her as he escorted her out of the church and stood at the top of the chapel stairs to see the newlyweds off with the mother of the bride and the stepmother of the groom, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
In November of that year, Harry told the BBC: "I asked him to [walk Meghan down the aisle] and I think he knew it was coming and he immediately said, 'Yes, of course, I'll do whatever Meghan needs and I'm here to support you." The Duke of Sussex continued to heap praise on his father, saying: "For him that's a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support, and he's our father so of course he's going to be there for us."
Harry's loving remarks about Charles in 2018 are in stark contrast to many of the statements he has made about his father this year. Since moving to California, with no royal handlers to advise him, Harry's words and behavior have angered and shocked the Royal Family and Palace courtiers, shattering the once strong and loving bond between a father and his son and daughter-in-law.
"The events of this year have been so damaging that many people inside the Palace, both members of the family and staff, feel Harry and Meghan's relationship with Charles is beyond repair," a royal source told Best Life. "Charles is gutted by what Harry has said and done and while he has long believed their relationship could eventually be healed, recent developments have been devastating."
Read on to find out how a dramatic series of events have all but destroyed the connection between Charles and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The Oprah Winfrey interview
Harry and Meghan's two-hour interview in March with Oprah Winfrey was the match that lit what has turned into an out of control wildfire. The couple leveled explosive allegations about the royals, claiming an unnamed family member—not the Queen or the late Prince Philip—questioned what color Baby Sussex's skin would be before Archie Mountbatten-Windsor was born.
"In not naming names, they cast a web of suspicion over all the senior royals, Charles included," said a source.
The royals were blindsided by Harry's damning remarks about "The Firm" and his detailed criticism of Prince Charles. The duke told Winfrey that Charles stopped taking his calls some time after Megxit negotiations had begun. "I had three conversations with my grandmother, and two conversations with my father before he stopped taking my calls," he said. "And then [Prince Charles] said, 'Can you put this all in writing?'" He also claimed his father had "cut him off" financially when he left Britain.
Harry said he felt "really let down" by his father "because he's been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie's his grandson. But at the same time, I will always love him. 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. They only know what they know, and that's the thing: I've tried to educate them through the process I have been educated."
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Prince Philip's funeral
Harry angered several members of the Royal Family when he did not return to England to see his grandfather while he was in the hospital and gravely ill back in February. Then, he seemed to make things infinitely worse by choosing to sit for the interview with Winfrey in March while Philip, as we know now, was in the final stages of his life. When the Duke of Edinburgh died, Harry received a frosty reception at his funeral from several royals, which only angered him further.
While in the U.K. for Philip's funeral, Harry's father and brother, Prince William, asked that Harry meet with them after the service to talk about a possible reconciliation. The Duke of Sussex met briefly with them (and Duchess Catherine) on the grounds of Windsor Castle but nothing came of it, insiders told Best Life. Hopeful that some progress could be made during Harry's visit, Charles invited his youngest son to accompany him on a walk the following day, but Harry said he was on a "tight schedule" and had to get back to Archie and Meghan, now in her third trimester of her second pregnancy, The Sun reported. He departed one day before the Queen's 95th birthday, the first she would spend as a widow.
"As much as Harry has talked about wanting to heal his relationship with his father, his actions speak otherwise," said an insider. "Charles made a genuine effort to reach out to him and was turned away after the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral. The Prince of Wales does not understand why Harry is so intent on escalating rather than resolving their differences."
The Armchair Expert Podcast
On May 13, Harry stunned the Royal Family and royal watchers everywhere when he appeared on the Armchair Expert podcast, co-hosted by Dax Shepard and Monica Padman. Now, that second bombshell interview could very well be the final straw for Charles and the rest of the Royal Family. Harry was there to promote his upcoming series on mental health, The Me You Can't See, which he produced with Winfrey for Apple+ TV. But his appearance made headlines for very different reasons.
In the 90-minute interview, Harry described royal life as "a mixture between The Truman Show and being in the zoo" and called out Charles for being a less than stellar father while indirectly criticizing the parenting skills of his grandmother and grandfather.
"[Charles] treated me the way that he was treated," Harry said. "There's a lot of genetic pain and suffering that gets passed on." When explaining why he felt he had to leave England, the duke said, "Suddenly I started to piece it together and go, 'OK, so this is where [Charles] went to school, this is what happened, I know this about his life, I also know that is connected to his parents, so that means he's treated me the way he was treated."
Harry concluded by saying he was determined to break the cycle with his own children, Archie and his unborn daughter. "So how can I change that for my own kids?" he asked. "'You know what? That happened to me, I'm going to make sure that doesn't happen to you.'"
Another royal insider said that "Charles had always been closer to Harry than William. Prince of Wales did everything he could for his son and Meghan while they were senior royals. He was very taken with Meghan." The source added: "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex seem determined to undermine the future of the monarchy with unproven allegations against Charles and the Royal Family."
The increasingly vocal calls to have Harry and Meghan's titles removed
While there have been many stories in the British media since Harry and Meghan left royal life calling for them to be stripped of their titles, after the devastating podcast interview, there has been a groundswell of royal watchers saying that the Queen should act now.
"There are a great number of people in Britain that feel the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should relinquish their titles, but there is also a very vocal faction who believe Harry and Meghan have shone a light on the monarchy's history of colonialism, which has led to increasing public debate about its relevance," said a source. "As the future King, the Prince of Wales now faces an entirely new set of challenges as a result of what's happened. It was never going to be easy for him, but Harry and Meghan have made things even more difficult at a time when Charles is mourning his father's death and working hard to support his mother in her final chapter of her reign. It's all quite Shakespearean, if one really thinks about it."