“Harry said to me, ‘I lost my dad in this process,'” the Duchess of Sussex, 41, told The Cut in an interview published on Monday, August 29, before referencing her own strained relationship with her father, Thomas Markle. “It doesn’t have to be the same for them as it was for me, but that’s his decision.”
Though Markle didn’t elaborate on what caused the rift in her interview, the Invictus Games founder, 37, previously spoken about his strained relationship with the Prince of Wales, 73. “I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father [about stepping back] before he stopped taking my calls,” Harry recalled during a March 2021 tell-all interview with CBS News. “And then [he] said, ‘Can you put this all in writing, what your plan is?'”
The duke and duchess shocked the world when they announced in January 2020 that they had decided to step down as full-time working royals. At the time, a source told Us Weekly that Charles was “livid” about the situation, and that he blamed Markle for pressuring Harry to make such a decision.
During his conversation with CBS News the following year, Harry theorized that his father was unhappy that he had decided to “[take] matters into my own hands,” and do what he felt was best to protect his family from public scrutiny and social media attacks. “This is not a surprise to anybody,” the former military pilot explained of his mindset at the time. “It’s really sad that it’s got to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, for my wife’s … because I could see where this is headed.”
Harry continued, explaining that he was particularly hurt by his family’s reaction considering the way his late mother, Princess Diana, was treated by the press during and after her marriage to Charles. “When I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my mother,” the England native recalled. “When you can see something happening in the same kind of way … to receive no help at all and to be told continuously this is how it is, [it’s upsetting].”
After months of tension, a source told Us in December 2021 that Harry and Charles were trying to patch up their relationship. “Charles and Harry are in communication,” the insider said at the time, adding that the pair were “not speaking very much” after the bombshell interview. “There [are] still a lot of issues the two of them need to work out and move forward.”
In April, however, royal author Tom Quinn said that Charles might be “open” to the couple returning to the royal family when he takes the throne. “We’ve already heard Charles say he wants to streamline the royal family, [to] modernize it,” the Scandals of the Royal Palaces: An Intimate Memoir of Royals Behaving Badly author told Us exclusively. “I think Meghan and Harry are hoping … Charles will be open to [them being] part-time royals, which is what they wanted from the start.”
Markle, for her part, told The Cut that she thinks it’s possible for her and Harry to reconcile with his family in the future. “I think forgiveness is really important. It takes a lot more energy to not forgive,” the former Suits star told the outlet. “But it takes a lot of effort to forgive. I’ve really made an active effort, especially knowing that I can say anything.”