Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from senior royal duties in favor of civilian life in the States may have irreparably fractured their relationship with the British monarchy — but it had the opposite effect on the relationship between now-King Charles and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The current monarch, 75, and Britain’s longest-serving monarch — who died in September 2022 at the age of 96 — agreed that the polarizing couple had to either remain fully in the royal fold or jump ship, rather than participating in select public duties, as biographer Robert Hardman told People.
“Harry and Meghan’s departure brought Charles and his mother closer together,” said Hardman, who conferred with many current and former royal aides for his new book, “The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy,” released last week. Friends of the king were also consulted, per People.
Hardman said there was a “sense of shock” in the aftermath of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s explosive 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which they discussed alleged mistreatment and racist remarks by the family.
“That was huge,” said Hardman, noting that while Charles felt “sadness” regarding the situation, he also exhibited “a sort of weary resignation, but also a sense that ‘look, I’ve got so much to worry about now that I don’t have the luxury of dwelling on this.’ If that’s what they want to do. … There’s only so much I as a father can do. And the door is always open.”
While Harry, 39, and the “Suits” alum, 42, have aired their fare share of dirty laundry in the form of a 2022 Netflix docuseries and the prince’s memoir, “Spare,” which shocked readers when it hit shelves last January, Hardman insisted a bridge has yet to be burned for the couple and the palace.
“There is no question that Harry and Meghan are a great loss to the institution, and that is still appreciated and understood,” he told People. “There’s absolutely no sense of good riddance or anything like that. It’s fundamentally a source of deep regret.”
Last year, the pair parted ways with Spotify, after failing to produce more than just a single podcast for the music and podcast streamer. Spotify exec and Ringer founder Bill Simmons subsequently slammed the couple as “grifters.”