Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Prince Harry and Father King Charles III’s Ups and Downs Through the Years

By Michael Feb 7, 2024

When Prince Harry and wife Meghan Markle stepped down from their positions as senior working royals, the duke’s relationship with father King Charles III dissipated.

“My family literally cut me off financially, and I [needed to be able to] afford security for us,” the Duke of Sussex alleged in his bombshell CBS interview in March 2021. “[I was cut off] in the first quarter of 2020. But I’ve got what my mom [Princess Diana, who died in August 1997] left me and without that, we would not have been able to do this.”

Harry and Meghan, who wed in May 2018, had been living off an income provided by the English crown and controlled by Charles. After the married couple decided to take a step back from their royal duties, His Majesty was also reluctant to speak to them.

“I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened,” Harry added at the time. “I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”

Harry and Meghan eventually relocated from London to Montecito, California, where they are raising their two children: Prince Archie, born in 2019, and Princess Lilibet, born in 2021.

Charles has not publicly addressed the family rift but did reunite with Harry at the April 2021 funeral for his late father, Prince Philip, the September 2022 funeral for his late mother, Queen Elizabeth III, and Charles’ May 2023 coronation.

September 1984
Nearly two years after Charles and Diana welcomed son William, the former couple expanded their family again. Harry, real name Henry Charlie Albert David, was born on September 15. Charles and Diana continued to coparent their boys following their 1992 separation. Their divorce was finalized in August 1996, one year before the princess died in a fatal car crash.
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August 1997
After Diana’s death, both William and Harry — then 15 and 12, respectively — walked in the funeral procession to Westminster Abbey for the state funeral. Charles, Philip and Diana’s brother Charles Spencer joined the brothers during the march.
“My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” Harry told Newsweek in June 2017 of the experience. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.”
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November 2018
Harry proposed to the Bench author in November 2017. As the duo planned their royal wedding, news broke that Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle, would not attend the ceremony — or walk her down the aisle — after he was accused of staging paparazzi photos for profit. As a result, Harry and Meghan asked Charles to fill in.
“I asked him to and I think he knew it was coming and he immediately said, ‘Yes, of course. I’ll do whatever Meghan needs and I’m here to support you,’” Harry revealed in the BBC One documentary Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70 in November 2018. “For him, that’s a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support. He’s our father, so of course, he’s gonna be there for us. I was very grateful for him to be able to do that.”
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March 2021
During Harry and Meghan’s first bombshell interview after their royal exit, the duke claimed that Charles had stopped answering his phone calls. “It’s really sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for Archie’s, as well, because I could see where this was headed,” Harry said. “I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson.”
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September 2022
Shortly after the queen’s death, Charles gave his first address as the reigning monarch. During the speech, he proclaimed that his wife Camilla would be known as the queen consort and that William would inherit his Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall titles. He also included a subtle mention to Harry. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives overseas,” the king added at the time.
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September 2022
The Archewell cofounders gave up their “His/Her Royal Highness” distinctions when they stepped down from their regal duties, with Harry also being stripped of his honorary titles. As a result, the Invictus Games cofounder — who served in the British army for 10 years— was unable to wear his ceremonial uniform to the queen’s funeral events per Charles’ order. Harry wore a black morning suit to the Westminster Hall procession and Elizabeth’s state funeral.
“[Harry] has come to terms with not wearing uniform on these occasions,” a source exclusively told Us at the time. “Whilst that’s disappointing in some senses, he’s just grateful to be present and honoring the queen. At the end of the day, it’s only a uniform.”
Charles ultimately had a change of heart before the queen’s grandchildren’s vigil, allowing Harry to wear his military dress like William.
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December 2022
In Harry & Meghan episode 4, Harry revealed that his dad was instrumental in helping the soon-to-be married couple pick out an orchestra — and gospel choir — to play during the ceremony, which “made all the difference.”
He added: “Everyone was like, ‘Gospel choir. Wonderful idea. That’s great.’ And again, more help from my dad on that one.”
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December 2022
Harry alleged in the Netflix doc that his father’s team was involved in leaking his and Meghan’s plans to leave their royal roles and settle in Canada.
“It became clear that the institution leaked the fact that we were going to be moving back to Canada,” he claimed. “And the key piece of that story that made me aware that the contents of the letter between me and my father had been leaked was that we were willing to relinquish our Sussex titles. That was the giveaway.”
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December 2022
After the duke recounted his “screaming match” with William and their dad in 2020, he believes that there will not be a future apology.
“I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably never gonna get genuine accountability or a genuine apology. My wife and I, we’re moving on. We’re focused on what’s coming next,” Harry said. “There’s times when I’ve been angry, but I can’t be that angry because I genuinely feel that we are exactly where we’re supposed to be. We’ve made it to the other side.”
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January 2023
Harry claimed in a clip from an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby that his father has “shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile” since 2020. “I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back,” the duke said, adding that “it never needed to be this way.”
The sit-down was conducted before Harry’s memoir, Spare, hit shelves. Days prior, Charles failed to mention his youngest son and Meghan in the 2022 royal Christmas address, his first as reigning monarch.
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January 2023
Harry, who mentioned his April 2021 argument with William and Charles in Harry & Meghan, claimed in his Spare memoir that it was like a “duel.” He wrote: “I tried to explain my side of things. I wasn’t at my best. For starters. I was still nervous, fighting to keep my emotions in check, while also striving to be succinct and precise.”
After the argument, Harry “vowed” to never get into another screaming match like that one, however, Charles and William allegedly disagreed. “Pa and Willy had their parts to play, and they’d come ready for a fight,” Harry wrote in his memoir. “It got so heated that Pa raised his hands. ‘Enough!’ He stood between us, looking up at our flushed faces: ‘Please, boys — don’t make my final years a misery.’”
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April 2023
After months of speculation, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Harry would attend his father’s coronation in May 2023. “The Duchess of Sussex will remain in California with Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet,” the statement read, revealing that Harry would be traveling solo for the monumental event.
“King Charles is sad Meghan cannot attend, but is thrilled Harry will be in attendance,” a source exclusively told Us in April 2023.
Harry and Meghan previously made headlines after they were invited in March 2023 to the coronation despite ongoing tension with the family. At the time, the pair stayed quiet about their plans for the U.K. ceremony which coincides with Harry and Meghan’s son Archie’s fourth birthday.
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May 2023
Harry made an appearance at his father’s coronation ceremony — where he sat three rows behind William and Kate. The Spare author also did not appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with his family after Charles was officially crowned as king. 
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February 2024
Buckingham Palace announced that Charles had been diagnosed with cancer, one day before Harry made a solo trip across the pond. Harry arrived in London on February 6, immediately making his way to Clarance House for a visit. Meghan, Archie and Lili reportedly stayed home in California at the time. Harry reportedly left the U.K. the next day.
Joshua Sammer/Getty Images

By Michael

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