Royal historian Robert Hardman, author of Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II, recently told People that the Queen maintained her close bond with the Duke of Sussex despite his physical and emotional distance from the rest of the royal family. “The Queen adored Harry right to the end, and Harry adored her,” Hardman told People. “I think she was one of the conduits between Windsor and California, and it would have been one of her dearest wishes that they patch things up.”
“She knew that conflicts were a part of life, and she didn’t hold grudges,” a source close to King Charles also told the publication. “Most of all, she wanted to see her family happy.”
Although Meghan Markle has been on the receiving end of royal family tensions and vicious tabloid fodder since well before she and her husband made their big move to the United States in 2020, the royal rift took a dramatic turn following their tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. In response, his father (now King Charles) reportedly chose to “freeze out” Harry—a move that supposedly “frustrated” the queen. Meanwhile, the relationship between the royal brothers became more fractured than ever.
In fact, the former Fab Four’s first public appearance together since March 2020 did not occur until after Queen Elizabeth’s death on September 8. The brothers, along with Meghan and Kate Middleton, the newly-minted Princess of Wales, joined together to greet well-wishers outside of Windsor Palace just a few days later.
Unfortunately, not much has changed since the grand show of unity. Not only is King Charles reportedly waiting to grant the Sussex children their HRH titles until his son’s memoir and Netflix docuseries are released, but recent reports also suggest that the former Fab Four’s public reunion was “awkward.”
“Both couples found it hard,” one source told People. “They were in a stoic spirit of just getting through it for the queen.” Hopefully, the moment can still be a jumping-off point for true reconciliation.