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Here's Why Meghan Could Have a Bigger Role When Charles Becomes King

The duchess is like "the daughter he never had."

There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth is quite fond of Meghan Markle, given how Her Majesty bent a number of royal rules when she became engaged to Prince Harry and has continued to show her support of her granddaughter-in-law by awarding her with the posh patronages like the National Theatre.

But Meghan also has a great champion in Prince Charles, who, one palace insider told me, "has great affection" for the duchess and "is very impressed by her commitment to charitable causes." After all, his fatherly bond with his daughter-in-law was plainly evident at the royal wedding where Charles memorably stepped in at the last moment to escort Meghan half-way down the aisle when her father, Thomas Markle, decided to bow out of the proceedings when it was revealed he'd worked with the paparazzi to stage some embarrassing photographs. (Charles even has a black-and-white photograph marking the occasion on view in the public area of his home, Clarence House.)

"Meghan is like the daughter he never had," said my source. "He adores her."

The wedding was also a turning point between Harry and his father. My sources have told me Charles is now "closer than ever to Harry" and "much of that has happened as a result of Meghan's influence." Three days after the wedding last May, the duchess was all smiles—and front-and-center in the official photograph taken at the garden party at Buckingham Palace to mark Charles' seventieth birthday. "Since then, the bond between the three of them has grown quite strong."

It has even been reported that the Charles may have been the one who somehow put the brakes on the supposed frostiness between Meghan and Kate Middleton.

All of this bodes well for Meghan when Charles eventually becomes king. "The Prince of Wales is very much aware that the royal family must continue to modernize to stay relevant. He considers Meghan very much an asset in this regard. She could have a larger role in the future."

So, what exactly does that mean?

"The Prince has always been someone who has looked to the strong women in his life for support and encouragement," said my source. "He admires Meghan for wanting to make a real difference in the world. When he becomes the monarch, his responsibilities will dramatically increase and he will be looking to hand over some other responsibilities to family members who he feels will do the best job."

And Meghan is high on the list.

"Meghan has been very solicitous of Charles and has shown great enthusiasm in his ideas about the environment, programs for disadvantaged youths through The Prince's Trust and the like. They have very similar interests. And she and Harry have chosen country life over living in London, which the Prince very much approves of," said the insider. "A quite many things will change when Charles becomes king, and one major change could very well be having the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a much more prominent role within the family." And for more on the soon-to-be king, here are Prince Charles' Most Controversial Moments That You've Forgotten About.

Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.

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