When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their positions as senior working royals, the duke’s relationship with father King Charles III soon 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 the Duchess of Sussex, who wed in May 2018, had been living off an income provided by the English crown — which Charles controlled. After the married couple decided to take a step back from their royal duties, His Majesty was also reluctant to speak to them.
“[He stopped] because, by that point, I took matters into my own hands,” Harry said during the tell-all interview. “It was like, ‘I need to do this for my family.’ This is not a surprise to anybody. 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.”
He continued: “I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened. And I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”
“It was hard. Especially spending time, having chats with my brother [Prince William] and my father, who just, you know, were very much focused on the same misinterpretation of the whole situation,” Harry recalled of the family reunion in his Harry & Meghan documentary, which premiered on Netflix in December 2022. “None of us really wanted to have to talk about it at my grandfather’s funeral, but we did.”
As the Spare scribe and the Daters’ Handbook actress remained focused on their California-based brood, they reunited with Charles — and the other members of the royal family — again after Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022 at the age of 96. Harry and Meghan both attended her state funeral in London, and received a subtle shoutout from the king in his first speech as monarch. (The former Prince of Wales ascended the throne after the queen’s death.)
“I think the king has made it very clear that he wants to heal the rift. Family dynamics, of course, are always complicated, but I think we can all see that there’s a great deal of pain,” royal expert Gareth Russell exclusively told Us Weekly at the time, referring to the king’s remarks about sending Harry and Meghan “love” while living abroad. “The king, even when he was Prince of Wales, I think has made it very clear that he would, he would like a better relationship with the Duke of Sussex. So let’s hope that the olive branch is something that works.”
Scroll below to revisit Harry and Charles’ ups and downs: