Insiders Say Megxit Made Prince William & Prince Charles "Much Closer"

The two future kings have strengthened their bond while securing the line of succession.

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Prince Charles has always had a somewhat complicated relationship with his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, due in large part to his disastrous marriage to Princess Diana. While Harry seemed to have strengthened his bond with his father after his wedding to Meghan Markle in May 2018, their relationship has seen a major setback since the Sussexes decided to leave their royal responsibilities behind. A Palace insider told me the Megxit drama has "seriously damaged" the growing connection between Charles and Harry, and now it's Charles and William who are becoming closer.

"The Prince of Wales is much closer to the Duke of Cambridge now. Together with Her Majesty the Queen, the two future kings were faced with a monumental family crisis that could have damaged the monarchy if it had not been handled swiftly and correctly," my source said. "Charles and William came out of it with newfound respect and admiration for each other and determined to secure the line of succession. It changed things a great deal."

Over the years, both William and Harry have had issues with their father. For example, according to The Spectator, the Prince of Wales asked both of his sons to talk about him in Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy, the 2017 ITV documentary that marked the 20th anniversary of Diana's death. William refused to say anything about Charles, while Harry offered some brief remarks.

But much has changed in the last couple of years. In late 2019, while William and Kate Middleton were being heralded for their successful royal tour of Pakistan, Charles found himself trying to "satisfy a growing number of requests from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that created a great deal of tension within the family," said my source.

In the fall of 2019, after Harry and Meghan's idea to set up a separate court at Windsor was nixed, Harry reportedly approached his father with his plans to have his family split their time between homes in both Britain and Canada. Charles allegedly told his son a "definite plan" had to be worked out before anything could be formally decided. Undeterred, Harry then attempted to meet with the Queen, but the meeting was reportedly stopped by members of Charles' staff, who were concerned the Duke was trying to undermine the Prince of Wales.

Fearing that their plans were going to be leaked to the media, Harry and Meghan decided to go public with their decision to "step back" from their senior royal duties, alerting Charles, William, and the Queen just hours before the bombshell announcement was posted on Instagram.

"With the Duke and Duchess of Sussex no longer carrying out official royal duties, the Prince of Wales is very much aware that there is an increased responsibility and pressure on the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge," said my source. "The press has dissected their every move in the wake of all the drama, and they have handled the situation brilliantly and shown tremendous grace under pressure. As a father, Charles is very proud. He is also confident that the future of the monarchy is secure because of William's devotion to the family and to the Crown."

As if to underscore their fortified post-Megxit bond, William and Charles made a rare joint appearance earlier this week with their wives—Kate and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, respectively—at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC) in Leicestershire, a new rehabilitation center for service personnel who have suffered traumatic neurological injury or illness. Charles and William, a patron of the appeal for the DMRC, toured the facility together—and, according to People, the father and son shared a joke over having more royals at an appearance than is generally the custom. William was overheard saying it was crowded enough when there were just two of them. "When there's four of us, it's a nightmare," he said. Charles cheerfully replied, "There's too many of us!"

For Charles and William, the engagement was a chance to demonstrate that despite last month's explosive drama that shook the monarchy to its core, the royal family is concentrating on the future. "As the Duke and Duchess of Sussex embark on a new life abroad, the royal family wish them well," my source said. "But with two future kings—father and son—working together, there was never any question that the family and the monarchy would prevail."

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

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