Inside King Charles' Relationship With Meghan And Harry

If you know anything about the royal family, you know things are not easy between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and King Charles. Why? Well, that depends on who you ask. Some claim that the relationship between Charles and his youngest son broke down after Harry married Meghan. Things only continued to deteriorate after "Megxit." Long-Standing royalists (*cough* Piers Morgan *cough*) maintain that Meghan and Harry are entitled and detrimental to the crown. Others say things have never been great between the King and the prince, with or without Meghan in the family.

Since Meghan arrived on the scene, the Windsor family dynamics have been the cause of much speculation. That's not an understatement, either. Literally, dozens of books have been written on the subject. While the royal family has done its very best to downplay rumors of tension or ill-will between its members, it doesn't take a palace insider to see that things, well, aren't great.

Don't worry, though, because we are to get to the bottom of what's really going on. Below, we break down everything we know about Charles, Harry and Meghan. From how things fell apart to where they stand today

Charles wanted to cut Harry off

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to leave royal life behind in January 2020, they reportedly did so without much warning to King Charles. At the time, Charles was not the king, but he was next in line and, as Harry's father, would have a lot to say in the matter. According to insiders, Charles was understandably furious by what he saw as a rash and even embarrassing decision on Harry and Meghan's end, per Us Weekly

What followed were several very tense discussions about Harry's finances. As Harry and Meghan didn't want to be working royals anymore, Charles reportedly thought it was a waste of taxpayer money to fund their lifestyle in America. During Harry and Meghan's interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry claimed that his family "cut him off financially" within the first few months of 2020. He also claimed that Charles stopped taking his calls at one point.

However, reports suggest that Charles' bark was worse than his bite. Instead of leaving Harry and Meghan out to dry, the royal family spent more than £4.5 million on the couple in 2020-2021, per BBC. It took a while, but nearly three years later, thanks to lucrative Netflix and Spotify deals, and other personal wealth, Harry and Meghan are reportedly fully financially independent from Charles.

Harry resented Charles

Since marrying Meghan Markle, Prince Harry's relationship with his father, King Charles, has deteriorated significantly. According to insiders, though, tension had been brewing between the royals long before Meghan ever appeared on the scene. Much of Harry's resentment towards Charles reportedly dates back to his early childhood and the loss of his mother, Charles' ex-wife, Lady Diana. Royal expert Ingrid Seward told the Irish Mirror that when Diana died, Charles stepped up as a father for his boys but never really discussed his late wife. "[Harry] blamed his father. He felt that Charles should have explained to both he and William exactly how and why the accident had occurred," Seward said. "It took years for the real grief to come out." Things between Harry and Charles only worsened when Harry got together with Meghan. While Charles liked Meghan at first, Seward claimed, he was soured by how she reportedly dominated Harry's life and alienated him from his family.

When all is said and done, Harry and Charles's relationship may not be that complicated or traumatic. According to an insider who anonymously spoke to the Daily Beast in 2018, the iciness between Harry and Charles is less about trauma and more about a lack of common interests. "They are very different people, and they just don't get on. It's as simple as that," they insisted.

Charles was 'devastated' to lose Harry

Whether or not they have much in common, sources claim that King Charles has been "devastated" by his public falling out with Prince Harry. To add insult to injury, Charles was reportedly hopeful that he and Harry, along with Meghan Markle, could patch things up after Queen Elizabeth's death, per The Mirror. Charles invited Harry and Meghan to meet with mourners in the days following his mother's death and even allowed Harry to wear his dress uniform to the state visitation. "He is hopeful that there will be a reconciliation. I think we saw that in the very public olive branches that were extended to Harry and Meghan," royal expert Katie Nicholl explained during an appearance on Fox.

Despite the "olive branches," Charles extended to Harry and Meghan, palace sources claim that nothing has changed within the family and that the relationship between father and son is just as strained as ever — especially as the publication date for Harry's highly anticipated memoir approaches as of this writing, per The Daily Beast. "The expectation is that once the mourning period is up, Harry and Meghan will go back to California, he will publish his book, and the family here will be left to pick up the pieces," an anonymous family friend said of the developing situation which has the potential to leave Charles "devastated" all over again.

Charles walked Meghan down the aisle

Things may be grim, but there have been brief moments of affection between King Charles and His daughter-in-law Meghan Markle. The day before Meghan's wedding in 2018, she and Prince Harry were engulfed in drama as her own father, Thomas Markle, pulled out of the ceremony at the last minute, per People.

 Devastating as it would be to have your father not show up on your big day, Meghan was left facing the added pressure of the entire world watching her walk down the aisle alone. That's where Charles stepped 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 explained in a 2018 interview, per Entertainment Tonight. "For him, that's a fantastic opportunity to step up and be that support, and you know, he's our father, so of course he's going to be there for us."

Though Meghan's relationship with Charles became exponentially more complicated after that day, it's nothing compared to that of her father, Thomas. Meghan and Thomas reportedly haven't spoken since he pulled out of the wedding, per Insider. They only tangentially interacted when she sued a newspaper that published a private letter she sent him after the ceremony. For all his faults, that's something Charles certainly would never do.

Prince Harry didn't like Camilla

By now, we've fully established that Prince Harry and King Charles have a complicated dynamic. While some point to Meghan Markle as the source of tension, others blame Charles' wife, Camilla, for the turmoil. According to Tina Brown, author of "The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor – the Truth and the Turmoil," things have been sour between Harry and Camilla since day one, per The Telegraph. As a child, he would refuse to interact with her and glared at her whenever they were in the same room. "Harry will never truly love her, his mother was meant to be queen, and Camilla will always be the woman who led to his parents' divorce," a source told Page Six. Moreover, the distance between Harry and Camilla — and by extension, Charles — reportedly deepened in the months before Queen Elizabeth's death.

During her Platinum Jubilee in the Summer of 2022, Queen Elizabeth issued a statement expressing her wish for Camilla to be known as "Queen Consort" when Charles took the throne — until it was understood Camilla would not receive such a prestigious title. Sources close to the situation claimed that the move got under Harry's skin. "[Harry] can't stand Camilla, he doesn't want Camilla to be queen, he's very angry that it's happening," Tina Brown told The Telegraph. "He has not made his peace with it and he probably never will."

Charles has a sweet nickname for Meghan

They may not always see eye to eye, but King Charles reportedly has a lot of respect for Meghan Markle. When Prince Harry got engaged, Charles was already well aware of the level of scrutiny Meghan would face in the press. However, he soon realized he didn't need to worry about Meghan — she could more than hold her own in the public eye — and even gave her a nickname to honor that fact. 

"Charles reportedly nicknamed his future daughter-in-law 'Tungsten' because of her toughness and resilience," Katie Nicholl wrote in her book, "The New Royals." Ironically, that "toughness and resilience" would get Meghan in trouble with the rest of her in-laws. According to Nicholl, Prince William and Kate Middleton noted those qualities too, leading to competitiveness between the couples. "That was a wake-up moment for William and Kate when they realized that Meghan was very impressive, very confident, and very capable."

Given all that has transpired since Meghan and Harry got engaged, it's unclear if Charles still affectionately refers to her as "Tungsten," though it seems unlikely. According to sources, it's still unclear if Charles will even invite the couple to his coronation. As of this writing, insiders told The Daily Beast that much of the decision rests upon the contents of Harry's upcoming memoir and in what light it would paint Charles and Camilla.

Charles is worried about Harry's memoir

In regards to Prince Harry's memoir, as of this writing, the royal family — especially King Charles — are super worried about it. Royal expert Tom Bower assured Page Six that Charles saw the forthcoming book as nothing less than a "time bomb" waiting to explode. The book was intended to be released in November 2022, but has since been rescheduled for an unspecified time in 2023. Bowers hypothesized that the delay was to enable Prince Harry to add chapters about Queen Elizabeth's funeral. While there is no way of knowing just yet what will or will not be included in the memoir, Charles is reportedly keeping a close eye on the situation.

There is an imminent fear among the royals that Harry will use the book as an opportunity to air his grievances with Camilla and Charles. Sources say, however, if he does, he'll be committing a faux pas from which he is likely never to recover. "It is one thing for Harry to attack Charles, he can take it on the chin, but if Harry forces him to choose by laying into Camilla in his book, I have no doubt he will choose Camilla," an insider assured The Daily Beast

Now that the book has been pushed back to 2023, its contents may dictate whether or not Harry and Meghan are invited to Charles' coronation. "The ball is in the Sussexes' court," Kate Nichols told the outlet. "The royals, just like the rest of us, are waiting to see what they will do next."

Charles didn't want to see Meghan when the Queen died

Many hoped that when Queen Elizabeth died, tensions would ease between Prince Harry and King Charles, but they were disappointed. In the hours before Elizabeth's death, Charles reportedly barred Meghan Markle from joining the rest of the family at Balmoral. "Charles told Harry that it wasn't right or appropriate for Meghan to be in Balmoral at such a deeply sad time," a source told The Sun. While it certainly wasn't the kindest thing Charles has ever done, insiders insisted that it wasn't as targeted as it may seem. Kate Middleton also didn't make the trip to Scotland that day, despite being on good terms with her in-laws, reportedly because Charles thought goodbyes should be limited to a very small number of Elizabeth's relatives.

Still, Meghan's absence and the way she and Harry handled the situation do shed light on the continuing conflict within the family. Before Charles told Harry that Meghan would not be allowed to make the trip, the Sussex family released a statement assuring the public they were both on their way to Scotland — which they had to amend after speaking with Charles, per Page Six. "The fact the Sussex camp did say both Harry and Meghan were going — and then quickly retracted that statement — will tell you everything you need to know about the drama behind the scenes," a source said, pointing to the evident lack of communication as proof of tension behind palace walls.

Charles wanted harry to go to rehab

Before he met Meghan Markle, moved to Los Angeles, California, and signed multimillion-dollar deals with Netflix and Spotify, Prince Harry had a reputation as a party boy. Now, teenagers will rebel, but Harry's drinking and smoking allegedly reached a point of concern for King Charles, who ordered his son to spend one day at a rehab clinic in the hopes of scaring him straight, per The Guardian. While the prince may have been humbled by what he saw that day, he reportedly still has mixed emotions about Charles' parenting techniques.

According to insiders, Harry sees his brief stint in rehab as less a demonstration of concern by a father, and more of a clever PR move by a future king. Harry reportedly felt like the sacrificial lamb in Charles' quest for good publicity. "Harry had in fact once visited a rehab centre, but not with his father — and not because his father was worried about him," Penny Junor explained in her 2017 book, "The Duchess," per Express. "Charles had no idea what either of his sons got up to, and Harry bitterly resented being made to look bad so his father could look good."

Charles may not give his grandchildren titles

The Windsor family tree is tough to follow, thanks to the ever-changing titles and difficult-to-pronounce names. To outsiders, it might seem like a lot of fuss over nothing — after all, the firstborn will inherit the throne no matter what — to the royals, titles are deadly serious. When Charles ascended the throne, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's children, Archie and Lilibet, should have received the title of Prince and Princess, as an old law states that the grandchildren of a monarch get the title, per People.

There has reportedly always been tension between Meghan, Harry, and Charles about their children's titles. During her 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan claimed that the royal family was against giving Archie a title despite his birthright.

Now that Charles is king, royal watchers quickly note that Archie and Lilibet's titles have yet to be updated. While it may be as simple as the King having more pressing matters than changing toddlers' aristocratic titles, some sources say Charles won't make a move until he sees how Harry's upcoming memoir, and Sussex's upcoming Netflix special, play out. "It depends a lot on what happens in the coming months, particularly with Harry's book and their TV show," Katie Nicholls told Vanity Fair. Yet again, everything rests on the book, and if that's not great publicity for Random House, we don't know what is.