The One Sign Harry Is Questioning "All That He Gave Up," Sources Say
The "time may have come" for Harry to "ask himself if he really had to leave everything behind."
When Prince Harry returned to the U.K. for the unveiling of the long-awaited statue of his mother, royal watchers held their breath, unsure of what the visit would look like after months of shocking revelations from the Duke of Sussex, ranging from allegations of racism, to criticisms of his father and grandparents' child rearing, to claims he didn't get support for his mental health struggles.
But the duke surprised everyone with his cheerful demeanor at the ceremony for Princess Diana, signaling he was genuinely happy to be back at Kensington Palace. Despite the obvious tension that still exists between him and Prince William, the Harry we saw at the unveiling was reminiscent of the easygoing "spare" who could always be counted on to tell a joke and lighten the mood whatever the occasion. "He was very much the 'Old Harry' at the unveiling," a royal source told Best Life, "It was great to see him in good form. It reminded a lot people of how things used to be."
Several royals experts now claim the recent visit to his childhood home may have struck a nerve with Harry, who saw all that he left behind when he and Duchess Meghan departed for America. "Between his military affiliations being taken away and how much of an outsider he felt at his own grandfather's funeral, he may be coming to the conclusion that, despite the fact he very much enjoys his new life in California, it came at a very high price," said the insider.
Read on to find out why Harry may be homesick after months of being at war with the royals and the biggest sign that he's looking for a way to repair his relationship with his family.
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Harry has reportedly been reaching out to old friends he hasn't seen since his wedding.
There were several long-time friends of Harry's who were reportedly cut off after his wedding to Meghan in May 2018. Writing for the Daily Mail just before the unveiling, longtime royal biographer Robert Lacey reported that Harry had begun quietly reaching out to some old friends back in April when he was in England for Prince Philip's funeral. While some members of the Royal Family gave Harry a chilly reception at his own grandfather's funeral, the friends who attended the "lads' lunch" were only glad to see Harry again. William was reportedly not invited, despite having many of the same friends from the same circle, who have done their best to not take sides in the brothers' rift.
An unnamed source told the Mail at the end of June that the informal gathering was a great success and said that meant Harry was "at last showing signs of wanting to reconnect with his old life." The insider added it also showed Harry he "doesn't have to abandon his old life" despite building a new one with Meghan and their children in California. "His friends are really excited, they think that the old Harry is coming back out of his shell," the insider said.
RELATED: The One Way William and Harry Shocked Everyone at the Unveiling.
While Harry is ready to apologize to his family, Meghan isn't willing to reconcile, insiders say.
With discord between the Sussexes and the Royal Family at an all-time high, Harry is now said to be willing to admit to his role in the rift, but Meghan is reportedly unwilling to cede any ground. Lacey told Newsweek in June: "On one side, we've got William, who doesn't seem prepared to concede anything, and on the other side, friends have told me that Harry wouldn't mind reconciling and then it's Meghan who is sticking to her guns on this issue."
"By Harry reportedly telling friends he is willing to admit some responsibility for the rift before anyone else involved does is a sign that he still very much wants to be a part of the Royal Family," a royal insider told Best Life. "He is tired of being the outsider. He knows he is and it has worn on him, but without Meghan's support, nothing is going to change."
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A royal biographer claims Harry's recent visit to the U.K. could cause issues between him and Meghan.
Back in April, royal biographer Duncan Larcombe, who wrote 2017's Prince Harry: The Inside Story, told Closer that Harry's visit to Britain for Prince Philip's funeral reminded him of "recent damage done," referring to the prince's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey and how it quickly escalated into an ongoing airing of grievances against the Royal Family. Looking ahead, the author said at the time: "I just don't think that Harry will be able to live harmoniously as a part of these two worlds—the royals and the LA showbiz world," adding that there could be "tough times ahead." He said that while Meghan is "in her element" living in her home state of California, Harry is "nostalgic for his old life," which is "bound to cause tension for them."
Now, Larcombe claims that after Harry's recent trip back to England, that tension is building further and Harry could soon find himself "torn" between the Royal Family and Meghan. While Harry is enjoying the "honeymoon phase" of his new life in California, said the author, the trip back for the unveiling of Diana's statue could very well get him thinking about how and why everything in his life changed so dramatically and show him what he is missing out on in the U.K.
Larcombe told Closer: "I think coming back and seeing his brother, especially against the very moving backdrop of a memorial for their mother will maybe make him question what he's given it all up for."
The royal expert also said the relationship between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is unbalanced: "Harry's totally sacrificed relations with his family for his new life with Meghan, and things seem to have been done her way and with her needs first." He added: "I think Harry and Meghan will have to make compromises to make things work with the royals and even to save their marriage—because there will be a point when he'll be torn between Meghan's world and his own family."
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Harry has a discreet band of behind-the-scenes supporters in London.
Despite not having seen most of his friends in well over a year until recently, Harry has remained close with a discreet network of supporters firmly rooted in the U.K. These are not "unnamed sources" who are quoted in the media, but rather a behind-the-scenes support system consisting of friends of Diana and royal mentors and aides whose ties to Harry date back to his childhood and who have gained Harry's trust over the course of decades. "These people could help ease the way for Harry to be welcomed back in," one source told Best Life. "It's a fair guess his supporters want him to find a way to heal the rift between him and the family and most especially with William."
Interestingly, among his supporters is British psychotherapist Julia Samuel (pictured here), one of Diana's best friends and godmother to William's oldest son, Prince George. She was on the committee for the Diana statue and received a warm welcome from both Harry and William at the unveiling.
Also included in that group are members of the Armed Forces (in some cases, those who have served with Harry) and those affiliated with his former military patronages, who have particularly felt the loss of Harry as part of their circle since his departure for America.
"These people were an important part of Harry's life long before he married Meghan. Some of them have had the opportunity to reconnect with him during his recent trips back home. These face-to-face encounters, especially with those whose connection to Harry were made through his mother, had to have made him think back to a time when he had a very different life in London," a royal source told Best Life. "The time may have come for him to really think about all that he gave up for Meghan and ask himself if he really had to leave everything behind. Only he knows the answer."
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Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.