Relations between the Duke of Sussex and other senior members of the Royal Family are said to have remained strained following his decision to quit royal life and reportedly worsened significantly after he and his wife Meghan Markle made sensational claims against the family, accusing it of racism.
Prince Harry spoke with his brother and father for two hours after the funeral of Prince Philip, The Sun reported citing royal insiders. During the ceremony Harry did not walk alongside Prince Charles and Prince William and sat alone in St George’s Chapel. But later the royal chatted with Kate Middleton and according to royal insiders also had private talks with Prince William and Prince Charles, a move that sparked speculation about a potential reconciliation.
“It is not known what was said behind closed doors and when the cameras were turned off, but it’s unfathomable to think Megxit and Oprah did not come up. Harry and William appeared cordial as the cameras rolled and that seemed to pave the way for Charles to join them when everyone had left”, one insider told the newspaper.
Harry is expected to stay with his family for several days and will reportedly celebrate the Queen’s birthday on 21 April before heading back to California. He will return again this summer for the unveiling of a statue of his late mother Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday.
Megxit and Oprah Interview
Relations between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family were already strained following the so-called Megxit, the couple’s decision to quit royal life in order to work to become financially independent. The ties are said to have worsened significantly after the Sussexes gave an interview to US talk show host Oprah Winfrey, in which they made several shocking claims.
Meghan Markle accused one royal of racism and the entire “Firm” (nickname for the whole Royal Family and their staff) of perpetuating falsehoods about them.
Harry, for his part, claimed that his father stopped taking calls after Megxit and said he was let down by Prince Charles. The Duke of Sussex also alleged that he was cut off financially by the family and that Prince William and Prince Charles were trapped within the system.
Modernisation of Monarchy
The development follows reports that Prince Charles will arrange a summit in the coming weeks during which he plans to discuss the future of the British Royal family and possibly introduce several changes. Rumours about the Prince of Wales’ attempts to modernise the monarchy have been going on since 2019 and intensified following the departure of the Sussexes.
According to The Telegraph, which cited royal insiders, during the summit the royals will likely discuss how to organise work with hundreds of patronages and how many royal engagements one should make.
The issue here is the dwindling number of royals. Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son stepped down from royal duties in 2019 in response to the public outrage caused by his friendship with sex offender and alleged rapist Jeffrey Epstein. The Duke of York is himself accused of sexual abuse. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left the Royal Family and are no longer able to perform royal duties, while Prince Philip died on 9 April, leaving hundreds of patronages vacant.
Someone has to step in for the royal in question. Insiders told The Telegraph that Prince Edward, the Queen’s third son, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex are expected to take on bigger roles.