Prince Charles was left ‘deeply hurt’ by Harry and Meghan’s tell-all interview – but has resolved to ‘mend the broken relationship’ with his son.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Charles plans to contact Harry within the next few weeks. ‘His mood is that of a father, not that of a statesman,’ said a friend.
With the Royal Family still reeling from the couple’s broadside – which included Harry’s claim that he needed to ‘educate’ his relatives – it is the first sign that they are determined to effect some form of reconciliation.
The friend of Charles said the heir to the throne realises the focus must be on ‘healing’ the rift before it becomes unbridgeable, adding: ‘You are looking at a father who is deeply hurt by where he finds his relationship with his son.
Prince Charles is said to have been hurt by the comments from the Duke of Sussex but is looking to fix their relationship
‘But, after much reflection, he also realises that nothing good will come of prolonging the fight. He feels it is time to heal. Now is the time to mend a broken relationship.
‘The Prince has a real desire to get back to the close relationship that he enjoyed with Harry for the longest time.
‘A conversation has to start sometime both with Charles and also with Prince William.
‘They will be in touch in one form or another over the coming weeks… possibly in writing, possibly over a video call.’
The Duchess of Cornwall is comforting Charles. ‘She can see how upset her husband is. She just wants it fixed,’ said the friend.
Charles arguably came out the worst from the various slings and arrows aimed at the Royal Family during the Oprah interview.
Harry said he felt ‘let down’ by his father who, he said, asked him to put his breakaway plan in writing and, he claimed, refused to take his calls at one point. Harry also admitted there was still a gulf between him and his brother.
He also told Oprah: ‘My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion with that.’
He spoke of being ‘cut off financially’, and there was clear resentment over having their security detail withdrawn and being stripped of their Royal patronages and Harry’s honorary military titles.
‘I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father and – before he stopped taking my calls – he said, “Can you put all this in writing what your plan is?” ’ said Harry.
Prince Harry said he felt ‘let down’ by his father in the tell all interview with Oprah Winfrey this week
‘He asked me to put it in writing and I put all the specifics in there, even the fact that we were planning on putting the announcement out on January 7 .’
At the subsequent so-called Sandringham Summit, Harry thrashed out his plan to leave Royal duties with his father, the Queen and his brother William. It paved the way for the Sussexes to move to the United States permanently.
A year on, resentment still festers within the Sussex household. The most serious allegations levelled at the behaviour of the Windsors is the suggestion of racism. Harry and Meghan – in slightly differing anecdotes – suggested a family member had talked about what colour skin their child would have.
Meghan said there had been ‘concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born’. When asked by Ms Winfrey whether there were concerns that her child would be ‘too brown’, Meghan said: ‘If that is the assumption you are making, that is a pretty safe one.’
The couple refused to say which member of the Royal Family had made the comments but later confirmed it was neither the Queen nor Prince Philip.
Harry went on to heap criticism on his father, suggesting that he and his wife hadn’t been protected or received the recognition that he clearly thought they deserved within the family.
‘I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like and Archie is his grandson,’ he said.
‘Of course I will always love him but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try to heal that relationship.’
Many believe that it is Charles’s role in his divorce from Diana that lies at the root of the problem and that Harry may never forgive his father. He made a striking reference to his late mother in the interview, saying that she ‘would feel very angry with how this has panned out, and very sad’.