Prince Harry, Meghan’s Relationship With Royals 1 Year After Oprah
- It has been a year since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
- But it seems little has changed in their fraught relationship with the royal family.
- Recent reports say Harry’s relationship with his father Prince Charles is at an “all-time low.”
It’s been one year since the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey aired in the US.
During the interview, the couple gave viewers insight into their strained relationship with royal family following their step back from royal life.
The couple alleged that Prince Charles stopped taking Prince Harry’s calls after he resigned from royal duties, and that Kate Middleton made Meghan Markle cry during the week of her wedding. Markle also shared that she was having suicidal thoughts due to constant coverage from British tabloids, but wasn’t allowed to get help during her time as a senior member of the royal family.
One of the biggest bombshells from the interview was when Harry and Markle said that an unnamed royal family member made racist remarks about their son Archie’s skin tone. After the interview aired, Winfrey said Harry wouldn’t confirm which royal made the comments but said it was not the Queen or Prince Philip.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement in response to the interview. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
Representatives for the Sussexes and Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
One year later, Harry and Markle’s relationship with the royal family appears to be nonexistent
After the interview aired, the Duke of Cambridge told reporters that “we’re very much not a racist family” and that he hadn’t spoken with his brother since the interview but “will do.” Meanwhile, Harry told Gayle King that the first conversations he had with his brother and father since the interview aired were “not productive.”
The brothers’ first public appearance together after the interview was at their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April. They did not walk side by side at the funeral procession, and were instead separated by their cousin Peter Phillips.
Although they were photographed speaking after the ceremony, royal author Andrew Morton believed it wasn’t a signal of reconciliation.
“I think there’s a lot of water that’s got to go under the bridge before those two and their father are reconciled,” Morton previously told Insider. “You don’t say that your brother’s trapped and your father’s trapped in the institution, which you were born into, and expect everyone to be all sweet.”
There have also been recent reports that Harry and Prince Charles’ relationship is at an “all-time low.”
While Harry told Winfrey that he was back on speaking terms with Charles, an exclusive report by The Sun’s Matt Wilkinson — published in December 2021 — claimed that the prince and his father had “barely spoken” since the interview, and that the two had only had a handful of “fraught” phone conversations since Harry moved to the US.
It said their relationship worsened when Harry made a public statement about Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz, the Saudi billionaire who was reportedly offered an honorary knighthood by Charles’ closest aide Michael Fawcett in exchange for donations to the royal’s charity. Fawcett stepped down following the allegations of misconduct in September 2021. Then, in December, a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex told The Sunday Times that Harry had “expressed his concerns about the donor” after a meeting with him in 2013.
Sources told The Sun in December that Prince Charles was “keeping a dignified silence” for fear that a public rift with Harry could damage his reign as king.
The bullying allegations against Markle likely didn’t help matters
Just days before their interview with Winfrey aired, bullying allegations against the Duchess of Sussex surfaced in a Times of London report.
At the time, two senior staffers said they’d been bullied by Markle, claiming she had left them “humiliated” and that her actions felt “like emotional cruelty and manipulation.”
Buckingham Palace said it had opened an investigation into the allegations, while lawyers representing Markle and Harry said the palace was using them to “peddle a wholly false narrative.”
In August, a new chapter of “Finding Freedom” — the Sussexes’ biography — claimed that two staffers ended up retracting their accusations. And in the year since Buckingham Palace opened the investigation, no findings have been released.
The royals are still keeping things cordial on Instagram
As outlets continue to report frayed relationships between the royal family, it’s been business as usual on their social-media pages.
William and Middleton wished Markle and Harry’s son Archie happy birthday on their official Twitter account in May. The photo led to speculation of a potential reconciliation between the former “Fab Four,” as they had been previously dubbed by the British press.
—The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) May 6, 2021
And following the birth of Lilibet Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge publicly congratulated Harry and Markle on Instagram alongside a photo of the couple and Archie that had been taken during Markle’s pregnancy.
Charles is also taking steps to keep up public appearances with his youngest son. In January, he wrote that he was proud of Harry in an essay for Newsweek about his work to raise awareness of climate change.
“As a father, I am proud that my sons have recognized this threat,” he wrote. “And my younger son, Harry, has passionately highlighted the impact of climate change, especially in relation to Africa, and committed his charity to being net zero.”
Royal biographer Nigel Cawthorne, author of “Prince Philip: I Know I Am Rude,” previously told Insider that Charles’ comment showed effort on his part to finding a resolution.
“Prince Charles is clearly realizing that he has to take on the conciliatory role of the grown up that Prince Philip used to have,” Cawthorne said. “Charles will have to find his own way in keeping the family together rather than let it grow apart over quibbles.”
The royals may just be giving Harry and Markle some space — but it will likely be up to them to really make amends
Royal commentator Kinsey Schofield told Insider that one year after the Sussexes’ interview with Winfrey, she believes Charles and William are giving Harry “the space he needs to navigate life outside of the royal family and create his place in the world.”
“The Firm is working overtime to try to get the royal family’s campaigns back in the spotlight and to show the royal family as compassionate individuals helping the less fortunate,” she said. “Time is a great healer and the day will come where Prince William and Prince Harry are friends again but there was a lot of heartbreak and betrayal felt after the Oprah interview.”
With Harry recently revealing that he doesn’t feel safe to bring his kids to the UK after losing his police protection, it seems it will be up to William and Charles to come to the US if they want to meet Lilibet for the first time and continue to make amends with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Only time can tell where the royal family will go from here.