A rocky road. Prince Harry has been candid about his ups and downs with members of the royal family, including stepmother Queen Consort Camilla.
King Charles III welcomed his second son with the late Princess Diana in September 1984, two years after son Prince William was born. The former couple separated in 1992 amid speculation of marital issues — and allegations of infidelity on both sides. Their divorce was finalized in 1996, one year before Diana died in a Paris car crash.
Ahead of her death, Diana spoke about her split from Charles in a now-infamous interview with the BBC’s Panorama in 1995. Referring to Camilla, who grew close to Charles in the 1970s, the late Princess of Wales said: “Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Harry echoed his mother’s words in his debut memoir, Spare. “My mother legendarily said there were three people in her marriage. But her math was off,” he wrote. “She left Willy and me out of the equation. We didn’t understand what was going on with her and Pa, certainly, but we intuited enough, we sensed the presence of the Other Woman, because we suffered the downstream effects.”
During a January 2023 sit-down with Good Morning America, he expanded on his comments. “I have a huge amount of compassion for her, you know, being the third person within my parents’ marriage,” the Duke of Sussex said.
When asked where he stands with Camilla, the British veteran confessed that the twosome aren’t close. “We haven’t spoken for a long time. I love every member of my family, despite the differences,” he noted. “When I see her, we’re perfectly pleasant with each other. She’s my stepmother. I don’t look at her as an evil stepmother. I see someone who married into this institution and [has] done everything she can to improve her own reputation and her own image, for her own sake.”
In an excerpt from his book, Harry described his “complex feelings” about Camilla, claiming she “sacrificed me on her personal PR altar” after her affair with Charles was exposed. He even went so far as to call the former Duchess of Cornwall “dangerous,” explaining his perspective during an interview on 60 Minutes.
“[She was] dangerous because of the connections that she was forging within the British press,” Harry told Anderson Cooper in January 2023. “There was open willingness on both sides to trade information. And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her on the way to being Queen Consort, there was gonna be people or bodies left in the street because of that.”
The California resident revealed in Spare that he and William both expressed concerns to Charles about marrying Camilla. The king went ahead with the wedding, exchanging vows in a civil ceremony in April 2005.
“No hard feelings,” Harry wrote. “We recognized that he was finally going to be with the woman he loved, the woman he’d always loved, the woman Fate might’ve intended for him in the first place. … Whatever bitterness or sorrow we felt over the closing of another loop in Mummy’s story, we understood that it was besides the point.”
Before he and wife Meghan Markle announced their step down as senior working royals in January 2020, Harry attended several outings with his stepmother over the years. Camilla, however, has remained more tight-lipped about her status with her husband’s children. (As of January 2023, no royal family members have publicly commented on the details laid out in Harry’s memoir.)
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Scroll down for a look back at Harry and Camilla’s relationship through the years: