The Truth About Prince Harry's Relationship With His Grandparents Now

Royal fans all over the world were shocked when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their decision to step down as senior members of the royal family in January 2020. Having carried out their final official engagements by the end of that March, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex left England for Canada, before promptly moving to Los Angeles. With rumors of royal feuds and regal disagreements circulating, everyone was left wondering whether Prince Harry was still on good terms with the rest of his family and, in particular, his grandparents: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. 

According to the Daily Mail, Prince Harry blindsided the British royals with the Sussexes' so-called Megxit announcement, and allegedly shared the news with the queen via email shortly before posting it on Instagram. "Her Majesty was shocked," claimed one source quoted by the outlet. "People were angry the Queen had been so disrespected." The ginger prince's seemingly impulsive move was apparently made because, per a Daily Mail source, "He thought his family were stonewalling and decided to push the nuclear button." 

But is Prince Harry really on bad terms with his beloved grandmother, or has he simply made a decision about the future of his own family? Join us as we take a look at Prince Harry's relationship with his grandparents, the Queen of England and Prince Philip.

Prince Harry's lunch date with granny

While rumors continued to suggest that Prince Harry had upset members of the royal family with his decision to step back, his return to the United Kingdom at the end of February 2020 proved otherwise. While in town to carry out his final engagements as a senior royal, the ginger prince also spent time catching up with family members. Most importantly, according to Harper's Bazaar, Harry and Queen Elizabeth herself sat down "for a casual lunch as grandmother and grandson." As a source told the publication, "Not a summit or serious meeting in sight." It doesn't sound like there was much drama during the reunion, after all.

Town & Country described "Harry's time with the queen" as "a private affair," and it seems likely that the royal grandmother and grandson duo had some important catching up to do. A source cited by The Sun also claimed, "Sunday was the first time the Queen has had the chance to talk to Harry on his own and really find out what his plans are. It was a much more relaxed environment and they were both able to speak their mind." 

While some onlookers were probably hoping for some royal scandal, it would appear that Prince Harry has just as much love and respect for Queen Elizabeth II as he did before he made his decision. We'd just love to know what they ate for lunch though.

The queen would welcome grandson Prince Harry back

In addition to reuniting for a Sunday lunch when Prince Harry returned to the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth II also reportedly made it clear that her grandson was still an important part of the family. A source cited by The Sun in March 2020 alleged that the queen told Harry, "You are much loved and will always be welcomed back." And the offer also applied to Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, the publication noted, "if they ever decide to rejoin the royals." 

While it seems unlikely that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would ever return to their senior roles within the royal family, it's nice to know that there are no hard feelings about the couple's headline-making exit. The Sun's source also alleged, "The queen had a lot to talk to Harry about and this was the ideal time for them to both say their piece. When Harry and Meghan announced they wanted to quit it all happened very quickly and it was very stressful for all concerned."

That's, of course, understandable. But first and foremost, Prince Harry is a member of the queen's family, so it's likely that she only wants to protect her beloved grandson. If Queen Elizabeth really did offer to welcome the Sussexes back into the fold, it seems that most of the scandalous reports about the Sussexes are untrue.

Queen Elizabeth misses her great-grandson

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made the decision to leave the royal family, that also meant that they'd be taking their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, with them. Since the couple moved — first to Canada, and subsequently to Los Angeles — it seems as though young Archie wouldn't be spending much time with members of the British royal family, including his great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. And when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to the U.K. to carry out their final public engagements as senior royals in late February 2020, they decided not to bring their little boy with them for the international trip.

According to The Times' royal correspondent, Roya Nikkhah, "The queen was apparently hurt that Meghan and Harry didn't bring Archie over from Canada during their recent visit." The publication went on to note, "His absence from the country of his birth and his wider family is understood to have left the queen feeling 'very sad.'" Aww! While it's, of course, absolutely understandable that a great-grandmother might be missing the most recent addition to her family, it's equally understandable that, due to world events at the time, the Sussexes seemingly determined it was best to leave young Archie back home in Canada, and not subject the little one to any unnecessary travel.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal vacation

In March 2020, The Times' royal correspondent, Roya Nikkhah, reported that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were set to return once again to the United Kingdom in the summer of 2020 to vacation with other members of the royal family. "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are believed to have accepted the Queen's invitation to visit her this summer at Balmoral, her Scottish retreat, and are planning to take their son with them," Nikkhah explained. 

Presumably, and as mentioned, both Meghan and Harry have remained on affable terms with the queen, otherwise they wouldn't be planning to spend an extended period of time with her in a remote location. Nikkhah further noted, "They are also expected to spend time with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall at Birkhall, Charles's retreat on the Balmoral estate." 

As of this writing, it's unclear whether these summer plans are set in stone, or if Baby Sussex will get to spend some quality time with his own generation of British royalty, including his cousins — Prince William and Kate Middleton's kiddos, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — amid continued rumors of Harry's alleged feud with brother William. Still, The Times' report seems to suggest that Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan are on much better terms with the prince's family than the world has been led to believe.

Queen Elizabeth reportedly extended an olive branch to her grandson

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were back in the U.K. in early March 2020, Queen Elizabeth II went one further than an amicable lunch with her grandson and apparently offered the royal couple a royal olive branch. Around that time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex accompanied the monarch to a Sunday church service at The Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor, and photos appeared to show the two in good spirits. Meanwhile, a royal source cited by Harper's Bazaar revealed, "The queen personally invited Harry and Meghan to join her for the service ... She has continuously made sure that they feel welcome and loved." 

Notably, Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't attend the service. However, according to People, another insider explained, "It was a really sweet gesture that the queen asked [Harry and Meghan] to church." The source continued, "It's telling in the sense that these two are still her family. And as a family, they all love each other." It seems as though the British monarch is keen to protect all members of her flock, regardless of their personal and work-life decisions.

Commonwealth Day showed a new royal family order for Prince Harry

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex carried out several engagements during their final visit to the United Kingdom as senior members of the royal family — but one of their most important appearances was at the Commonwealth Day church service held at Westminster Abbey in London. It's attended annually by members of the royal family. However, in keeping with the couple's decision to step down, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry didn't arrive with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, or even Kate Middleton and Prince William. Instead, they were already seated when the senior members of the royal family arrived.

As Forbes reported, "The courtiers mandated with fashioning the architecture of the service — and the Queen and Charles, who would have signed off on it — apparently left Harry and Meghan out of the traditional inner-family procession into the church behind the Queen." The media outlet went on to explain, "Harry and Meghan Markle, as outgoing royals — were seated with other minor royals such as Prince Edward and Sophie of Wessex in advance of the Queen's annual processional arrival accompanied by Charles, Camilla, William and Kate." 

As Harry and Meghan literally and visually move down the royal ranks, it truly seemed to be the end of an era.

Queen Elizabeth's royal rule extends to her grandson, Prince Harry

Judging by several reports, Queen Elizabeth clearly loves and supports her grandson, Prince Harry, in his new endeavors. However, there's one thing that she's apparently not prepared to budge on: while Meghan Markle and the ginger prince had hoped to copyright and keep their brand name as Sussex Royal, the queen promptly put a stop to it, according to NBC News.

Per the couple's official website, "Given the specific UK government rules surrounding use of the word 'Royal,' it has been therefore agreed that their non-profit organisation will not [utilize] the name 'Sussex Royal' or any other iteration of 'Royal.'" However, it's been speculated that Meghan and Harry probably aren't all that happy with this particular stipulation. While discussing the changes on their official website, the Sussexes made a point of explaining, "There is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word 'Royal' overseas." 

It seems as though the duke and duchess had hoped to keep their brand name moving forward, and technically could have, given the fact that they've since moved to America. Even though this is one battle that the queen has most definitely won, it hasn't stopped Prince Harry from being her grandson.

Prince Philip's alleged fury with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

While reports seem to indicate that Queen Elizabeth has remained supportive of Prince Harry and his decision to step down as a senior member of the royal family, her husband, Prince Philip, allegedly isn't quite so happy. According to a source cited by The Sun in January 2020, "To say that the Duke feels let down would be a considerable understatement. He is deeply hurt." But that's not all. Apparently, Philip was so upset that "he was spitting blood when aides informed him what had happened." And if there's one person in the British family we wouldn't want as an enemy, it's Prince Philip.

The Sun's insider also explained that Philip "spends much of his time now confined to his cottage at Sandringham," which suggests that the grandfather is potentially devastated about not seeing his beloved grandson as often. It also seems that the Duke of Edinburgh is completely on Team Queen, as the source added, "A lot of Philip's anger comes from seeing Her Majesty upset." Philip has reportedly made no secret of the fact that he's unhappy with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and per The Sun's source, "Philip has accused Harry and Meghan of lacking respect and he is weary of their behavior." Ouch!

Prince Philip misses his great-grandson, Archie

While Prince Philip is allegedly furious about Prince Harry's decision to step back as a senior royal, he apparently made little effort to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex during their March 2020 visit to the United Kingdom. Of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's trip to England, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told Express, "I strongly doubt that he would have made a special appearance as he has a strong sense of duty and he would not have endorsed their wish for independence and certainly not the way they handled it." 

Fitzwilliams also claimed, "[Prince Philip's] views may be from a different generation, but since he is 99 in June it would have been a charming gesture if Harry and Meghan had brought Archie to see him and the queen, who, after all, is 94 in April." However, according to The Telegraph, "The decision to leave Archie behind in Canada came not out of petty spite, as reported in some areas, but out of concern for his health during the threat of a global pandemic." 

But now that Meghan, Harry, and Archie have moved to Los Angeles, it could be quite some time before Philip sees his grandson and great-grandson again, which has got to hurt.

The queen's sensitivity toward grandson Prince Harry

Even if Prince Philip reportedly hasn't come around to the idea of Prince Harry moving to Los Angeles and stepping down from his role in the royal family, Queen Elizabeth is apparently much more understanding for an important reason. Royal historian Robert Lacey told People, "She has a particular sensitivity to what Harry has been going through because of her closeness to [Princess] Margaret and seeing the same dramas and tensions played out two generations ago." As viewers of The Crown will know, the queen's sister, Princess Margaret, often found herself in the spotlight and receiving negative press. As such, it makes sense that the queen would sympathize with Harry's struggles with the tabloids.

Meanwhile, royal biographer Ingrid Seward also spoke to People about the queen's reaction and said, "She won't dwell on the exit ... She is very pragmatic. She has left the door open for Harry especially — the year of review was with Harry in mind."

Did Queen Elizabeth steal Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's staff?

Following their decision to step down from their posts in the royal family, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry closed their Buckingham Palace office and let go of their staff. In February 2020, a palace source told Harper's Bazaar, "Given their decision to step back, an office at Buckingham Palace is no longer needed. While the details are still being finalized and efforts are being made to redeploy people within the royal household, unfortunately there will be some redundancies." 

However, not all of Meghan and Harry's staff left the royal realm altogether, as the couple's former head of communications, Sara Latham, was subsequently hired by the queen. The Daily Mail reported that approximately 15 staff members were due to be made redundant once the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down, but Latham was "snapped up by the queen's private office to advise it on special projects," and "will be reporting to the monarch's right-hand man, Private Secretary Edward Young." 

Was Latham's hire a dig at Meghan and Harry, or simply a case of hiring good people who are comfortable working with the royal family? We're guessing the latter. Palace life may be rolling on without the Sussexes, and it seems that no one is waiting around for Prince Harry and Markle's return any longer ... but if they do decide to head back to England, it appears as though the queen would welcome them with open arms.