If the aftermath of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing has taught us anything, it’s that the people of England have very much made up their minds on the subject of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
At one memorial event after another, the people’s distaste for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was palpable.
Mourners at Windsor Castle refused to shake Meghan’s hand, while social media users popularized the hashtag #MeghanGoHome and accused Harry’s wife of using the Queen’s death as a publicity opportunity.
In short, the couple were not well-received by the public — and it seems that things didn’t go much more smoothly behind closed doors.
Harry and Meghan are back in the States now, and insiders say William is still awaiting the apology he never received during the couple’s latest journey to the UK.
So the divide between the next generation of royals is deeper than ever.
But insiders say Charles hopes to see his sons bury the hatchet before he dies.
In his first speech as king, Charles subtly quashed any notion that he might one day step down and allow William to ascend to the throne ahead of schedule.
“As the queen herself did with such unswerving devotion, I, too, now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said.
There are many challenges facing the new king, including keeping the United Kingdom together amid the growing push for Scottish independence.
But insiders say his first order of business has to do with his family.
“Charles is said to desperately want to reconcile with his son Harry, but it remains to be seen if the rift which caused the queen so much upset will ever be truly resolved,” royal correspondent Katie Nicholls writes in Vanity Fair this week.
Charles interest in bringing Harry and Meghan back into the fold could go well beyond his personal affection for his youngest son.
As Nicholl points out, there was a hope that the Sussexes would serve as the ultimate ambassadors between the Crown and the nations of the Commonwealth.
The author notes that while photos of Will and Kate in the Bahamas were viewed by many as “some sort of white–saviour parody,” the optics would have been very different had Harry and Meghan embarked on the journey.
“Sadly, the significant role Harry and Meghan were expected to play in the life of the Commonwealth—their interracial marriage emblematic of equality, diversity, and unity—was lost when they left,” Nicholls writes.
“The royal family is an institution based on white inherited privilege. Its future lies in the hands of three white men, and that is a fundamental problem in a diverse country such as Britain and across the countries of the Commonwealth too,” she continues.
“Meghan played a huge part in relieving some of this tension; the loss of all she represents as a biracial woman in the royal family, as well as her energy and talent, has had a real impact.”
While there was initially some lingering optimism that Harry and Meghan would continue to serve as ambassadors after moving to America, the intervening years all but decimated those hopes.
The division between the two factions has gradually deepened since 2020, and this rift was on full display both at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June and during Harry and Meghan’s trip to London ahead of the Invictus Games in April.
“Harry went in with hugs and the best of intentions and said he wanted to clear the air,” a source says of that occasion.
“Harry suggested that they use a mediator to try and sort things out, which had Charles somewhat bemused and Camilla spluttering into her tea,” the insider adds.
“She told Harry it was ridiculous and that they would sort it out between themselves.”
It sounds like Harry and Meghan are a long way from being welcomed back into the royal fold.
But it also sounds as though Charles is committed to making his family whole again.