Of all the members of King Charles’ extensive family that he’s unable to see regularly, perhaps it’s the absence of Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet that he feels most keenly.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be all too aware that King Charles has a strenuous relationship with his son, Prince Harry, and Harry’s, Meghan Markle. The infamous rift has been present for well over a year now, and the release of Harry’s tell-all book, Spare, didn’t help matters at all.
Now, rumors regarding Harry and Charles potentially engaging in peace talks are abounded. Yet according to reports, Charles has more on his mind than simply repairing the fractured relationship with Harry. He wants that, of course, but he’s also said to have another motivation for any potential meeting: young Prince Archie.
Prince Harry last met his father at the King’s coronation in May. It was a fleeting visit, with the Duke leaving directly after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey to fly back to the States and celebrate his son Archie’s birthday. Before the coronation, of course, the talk of the town was whether Harry would even meet with his family members.
Harry ‘to be invited to King Charles’s 75th birthday
It’s not been confirmed whether or not Harry and Charles met in private during the prince’s 24-hour visit to London. Charles – and others including Prince William and Kate Middleton – were said to have been outraged by what Harry wrote in Spare. Charles was said to be particularly peeved concerning Harry’s words regarding Camilla after he labeled her a “wicked stepmother” and claimed she leaked stories to the press years ago.
Though the relationship between Harry and Charles hit rock bottom after Spare’s release, the Duke and his wife, Meghan Markle, were still invited to the royal coronation. Meghan ultimately missed the big event, opting instead to remain in the US with the couple’s two children. The former actress reportedly hasn’t met the royals since Queen Elizabeth’s funeral last year.
Interestingly, that might change as a significant event is approaching.
On November 14, King Charles will celebrate his 75th birthday. Despite the tension with his son and daughter-in-law, royal expert and author Angela Levin believes King Charles will invite them to participate in the celebrations.
According to the Daily Mail, Charles’s birthday celebration will likely be low-key. The last year has seen several major royal events, including Queen Elizabeth’s funeral and the aforementioned May 6 coronation.
Not only have the events taken up plenty of time in their planning, but they’ve also cost British taxpayers millions of pounds. As a result, public finances have been stretched, and so King Charles wants a “minimal” and “family-oriented” celebration for his birthday, without any fuss. He is said to have vetoed a major public celebration and would rather mark the occasion with his dearest family members.
“His Majesty is not given to fuss over such things as it is, but he is [also] acutely conscious there have been many set-piece royal events of late, and his firm thinking is that events to mark his birthday will be minimal,” a source told the Daily Mail.
Another Buckingham Palace insider stated: “There’s been enough fly-pasts and marches.”
King Charles’s relationship with Archie & Lilibet
King Charles is said to be ready to offer an olive branch to Harry and Meghan by inviting them to his 75th birthday celebration. According to royal expert Levin, the main reason – and Charles’s plan – is so that the king can meet his grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet.
As per Levin, no matter what’s happened between Charles and Harry, the king misses his grandchildren and dearly wants to see them.
Any parent or grandparent knows how tough it is to be away from your children or grandchildren, even if it’s just for one day. In King Charles’s case, he hasn’t seen Archie or Lilibet in a long time, and it seems like it’s taking a toll on him.
In his new book OUR KING: Charles III: The Man and the Monarch, royal author Robert Jobson describes King Charles’s anguish over Archie and Lilibet, who are sixth and seventh in the line of succession.
Jobson writes that Archie and Lilbet are “always in Charles’ heart,” though the rift between Harry & Meghan and the royals has made things challenging.
“Unfortunately, due to the poor relationship with his second son Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Charles has spent hardly any quality time with his other grandchildren, Archie and his sister, Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor,” Jobson wrote in his book, as quoted by the Mirror.
“But those close to him say they are always in his heart. It is one of the reasons he finds the estrangement from his second son so difficult to cope with.”
“Very emotional” meeting
Charles visited Archie for the first time shortly after the boy was born (when Harry and Meghan still lived in the UK). Yet it’s speculated that even then, Harry and Meghan harbored thoughts of leaving royal life behind and settling in another country.
“A week after Archie was born in May 2019, Charles had gone to see Harry and Meghan at Frogmore Cottage and was thrilled as he cradled the baby boy in his arms,” Jobson explains. “But even then, the Sussexes were planning their escape from the Firm.”
Charles has not visited Archie and Lilibet in the US, and so it’s been quite a while since he had a chance to meet them.
Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet traveled to the UK last year for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration. During their stay, Lilibet celebrated her first birthday, and Charles was said to be “absolutely thrilled” to see her and her big brother.
At the time, a royal source told BBC that Charles and Lilibet – now a princess – had a “very emotional” first meeting.
“It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain,” the source said. “The prince and the duchess were thrilled to see them. He said it was also ‘very, very special’ for [then-Prince] Charles to spend time with his grandson, Archie, now aged three.”
The source added: “He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.”
King Charles and Harry plan ‘peace talks
While the general line of thinking was that Archie and Lilibet were too young to attend the coronation, King Charles did want to see his grandchildren. A source told The Sun that the monarch was “happy” that his son, Harry, would attend his big day. That said, being unable to see Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet was tough on him.
“The King is happy that Harry, his son, who he calls his ‘darling boy,’ will be at the Abbey. He wanted him there,” the source told the newspaper. “It is sad, he is very disappointed that he won’t see Meghan or his grandchildren but understands the situation.”
While Harry may accept his father’s invitation to attend his 75th birthday celebrations, other reports suggest that Charles and his son are planning peace talks to take place in just a few weeks.
OK! Magazine reports that Charles and Harry have held ongoing talks about meeting and trying to rebuild bridges burned. With Harry set to be in attendance at this year’s Invictus Games in Germany next month, September 17, the news outlet’s source says that peace talks could be held there.
“King Charles is due to return to London from Balmoral in the middle of September, which ties with the end of Harry’s Invictus Games trip to Dusseldorf,” a royal source told OK!
“The King has a rescheduled official visit to France on September 20 so has a few days to spare in London to meet with his son. Staff are trying to fine-tune the details as we speak,” the source added.
Plan to get to meet Archie
The meeting between Harry and Charles will mark the first time they’ve seen each other since the coronation in May. Moreover, it’s the first personal meeting between father and son since Spare was released in January.
“The King loves his son very much, but he has been mortally wounded by what he has done. He will always be there for him but draws the line at public slanging matches,” the source continued. “If the talks take place, the King will make it very clear that there will be no private family business discussed in public moving forward,” the source said.
If Harry and Charles can come to an understanding, their hatchet will hopefully be buried. The two are said to have barely been on speaking terms during the last few months, but a meeting between the two of them could change that.
Despite this, speculation insists that King Charles will have one demand which Harry will have to hear before any peace talks take place – and it involves the king being able to see his grandson, Archie.
According to an OK! insider, Charles will not tolerate any further family feuds playing out in the media.
“The King loves his son very much, but he has been mortally wounded by what he has done. He will always be there for him but draws the line at public slanging matches,” an insider said.
“If the talks take place, the King will make it very clear that there will be no private family business discussed in public moving forward.”
Though father and son could find some measure of reconciliation, reports suggest that there’s “no chance” Harry will meet with William for ‘peace talks,’ as the future king refuses to see his younger brother.
“He feels utterly betrayed by what Harry wrote about him in the book and said about him on Netflix,” a friend of William’s told the Daily Beast.
“Would want Harry and Meghan’s children there”
“They were very close growing up, so it has been very painful for William. But ultimately, what can he do? Just look at Spare. It’s William’s worst nightmare. I think it is completely understandable that right now, William is still absolutely disgusted by what his brother has done.”
Royal expert and author Angela Levin told The Sun: “Charles would want Harry and Meghan’s children there. If Harry and Meghan want to make an excuse, that’s their decision. If Harry wants to go to get an apology, then he can get lost.”
The royal expert added that Meghan likely won’t come with him, as the couple’s two-year-old daughter, Lilibet, is still too young. However, it could mean that the trip will see Harry travel to Europe with Archie, 5, in tow.
This would not doubt please King Charles, who would then get to meet his beloved grandson.
“He could go on his own and bring Archie with him. He’s a big boy now, five, and he could see his cousins,” Angela Levin added.
Though Harry has repeatedly lashed out at his family via his and Meghan’s Oprah interview, their Netflix series, and Harry’s book, Spare, family will always be family.
Harry was sad Charles & William missed Archie’s first steps”
Since becoming a father, Harry has created cherished moments he will never forget with his children. At the same time, the Duke has admitted his sadness over them not being shared with his closest relatives.
In Spare, Harry wrote about the moment Archie took his first steps. Neither Charles nor William was there to witness it, and it hurt him.
Before moving into their Montecito home, Harry and Meghan, alongside their son Archie, lived briefly in Tyler Perry’s house. It was there that Harry got to watch his son taking his first steps.
“Within a week, Tyler’s house felt like home,” Harry wrote in Spare. “Archie took his first steps in the garden a couple of months later, at the height of the global pandemic lockdown.
“We clapped, hugged him, cheered. I thought, for a moment, how nice it would be to share the news with Grandpa or Uncle Willy.”
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