Prince Harry made a huge change in early 2020, when he decided to step down as a senior member of the royal family. He has since settled in Los Angeles with wife Meghan Markle and their son, Archie, but many fans have been left wondering where the prince stands with the rest of his family now. Despite a plethora of reports suggesting that Prince Harry is no longer on good terms with the royals, The Sun reported in March 2020 that Queen Elizabeth II had organized a crisis talk with her grandson. A source told the publication, “The queen had a lot to talk to Harry about and this was the ideal time for them to both say their piece.”
It’s undeniable Harry’s decision to leave Britain and start a new life with his American wife across the pond shocked not only the queen, but people all over the world — but will he really “always be welcomed back,” as the queen reportedly said, or has he essentially been disowned by his own blood? Here’s every time that Prince Harry burned a bridge with the royal family.
Prince Harry went on a royal spending spree
There are allegedly multiple reasons why Prince Harry is no longer as close with his family as he once was. According to the book, Royals at War, by Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett (via the Daily Mail), one of the reasons the Duke of Sussex is reportedly embroiled in a feud with his brother, Prince William, is because of excessive spending.
The report claims that, since joining forces with his wife, Meghan Markle, Harry’s spending habits have considerably changed. Per the media outlet, “He reportedly forked out more than £6,000 [$7,450] within months for acupuncture ‘as part of a health drive’ and enjoyed a ‘babymoon’ with the Duchess of Sussex at Heckfield Place, a luxury spa in Hampshire — the three-night stay is said to have cost up to £33,000 [$40,000].” While these costs don’t seem completely ludicrous for a member of the British royal family, apparently William disagreed.
Per the Daily Mail, Tillett and Howard wrote in Royals at War, “Harry’s [spending] transformation is revealed as one of the fundamental factors behind the deep fissure that opened between him and his brother, Prince William.” Drawing on the book’s scandalous claims, the publication reported that “insiders suggest Prince Harry first got the spending bug after leaving the Kensington Palace household.” It’s heavily insinuated that Markle influenced the ginger prince’s spending, and that even Queen Elizabeth was upset about the supposedly new outpouring of cash.
Was Prince Harry the brains behind Megxit?
While the British tabloids might have attempted to make us all believe that Meghan Markle was responsible for Megxit, apparently that wasn’t really the case. In May 2020, The Sun claimed to have had access to the forthcoming royal biography, Finding Freedom, by royal correspondents Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand — which allegedly reveals that Prince Harry was the one who decided that it was time to step back from his position as a senior royal.
According to a so-called “publishing insider” cited by The Sun, “That word ‘Megxit’ in particular has always angered Prince Harry. It gives the impression that the decision to walk away from the royal family was Meghan’s.” Allegedly, it was not. The source continued, “The reality is Harry drove that decision. The book will make that clear and explain why it had to happen. The truth is Harry had been unhappy for a long, long time … He wanted to move in the direction that they did and had been considering it for more than a year.”
If these claims are true, then it wasn’t the Duchess of Sussex’s choice to step back from her role within the royal family, and she was simply supporting the needs of her husband. In fact, The Sun‘s insider claims that “there was more than one occasion where she asked him if he was certain it was what he wanted,” knowing that Megxit was a huge undertaking for both of them.
Prince Harry keeps ignoring Prince William's advice
As well as allegedly disapproving of his brother’s new spending habits, Prince William was apparently skeptical about Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle – and made his feelings clear. Per London-based newspaper The Times, “Harry felt that William was insufficiently welcoming towards Meghan when they first started dating. Their relationship has apparently not recovered.” In April 2019, People reported that Prince William had allegedly “cautioned Harry that things were moving too quickly, leaving Harry angry and hurt.” It would seem that William felt that his younger brother was considering marriage too quickly, having been dating the former Suits actress for less than a year when he reportedly announced his intention to wed the star.
Unfortunately, relations allegedly haven’t really improved between the formerly close siblings. In January 2020, Us Weekly reported, “William’s done everything in his power to help his brother over the years and feels totally let down by his ‘reckless’ and ‘selfish’ actions … The way he sees it, Harry’s thrown all the good advice he gave him back in his face.” Sadly, it would appear that Prince Harry is on a completely different page to his brother, and it’s unclear if the burned bridge between them can ever be mended.
Prince Harry's supposedly shady and secret Megxit announcement
On Jan. 8, 2020, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry released an emotional statement on Instagram, revealing their plan to leave their senior royal roles behind. While fans of the couple were understandably surprised by this news, apparently members of the royal family were equally shocked to find out that the two planned to leave their ranks.
According to a report in the Express, the couple’s social media announcement “is said to have blindsided the queen,” which is almost unbelievable, considering the once-closeness of Prince Harry and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. Although the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are rumored to have made their intentions clear to the royals in the months prior to their announcement, the timing of their Instagram post, which was followed by them moving out of the country, was apparently not something the family was aware would be happening imminently.
Markle and Prince Harry, per Express, reportedly “published their own statement about quitting without warning the queen” or other senior members of the royal family. Instead of following protocol, the Sussexes allegedly bit the bullet and posted their news before telling the people their worked with and their closest royal family members, which seems more than a little brutal. While the couple has since worked out an agreement with the royal family, their supposed surprise Instagram crusade probably ruffled some serious feathers.
Did Prince Harry publicly diss the royal family?
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry shocked the world when they announced in January 2020 that they’d decided to step down as senior members of the royal family. At first, the couple’s Instagram announcement appeared to be civil towards their fellow royals, with the Sussexes detailing their intention to continue to “[honor] our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages.” However, this quickly changed when it came to hashing out the details of the married pair’s plan to step back from their roles.
Speaking at a dinner in honor of the charity Sentebale later that same month, Prince Harry revealed, “It brings me great sadness that it has come to this … There really was no other option. What I want to make clear is, we’re not walking away … Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”
Basically, if Prince Harry had it his way, it appears as though he would have continued working closely with the royal family in a reduced capacity, while planning to become financially independent and no longer rely on public money. The implication of Harry’s speech is that the royal family forced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to walk away from many of their duties, while they were keen to honor them.
Prince Harry: groomzilla?
Many reports have suggested that Prince William wanted Prince Harry to be more cautious when it came to his relationship with Meghan Markle. And it would seem that some members of the royal family were upset by Meghan and Harry’s alleged behavior in the run up to their royal wedding in May 2018. While it’s beyond understandable that the ginger prince would put his wife first in all of his decisions, he reportedly upset his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, in the process. The Express reported, “There was the episode over what tiara Meghan wanted to wear, which is said to have resulted in a row between Harry and one of the queen’s senior aides. The queen was said to be so cross that she called Harry in for a rare dressing down.”
Writing for the Daily Mail, royal biographer Robert Jobson claimed that, in the run up to the royal wedding, Harry was allegedly “petulant and short-tempered.” Jobson revealed that, per his royal sources, the prince reportedly declared, “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.” However, this attitude is said to have gone over very poorly with the queen, who ultimately oversees many important decisions when it comes to royal events. And during Queen Elizabeth’s discussion with her grandson about which tiara his wife would be wearing at the wedding, an insider reportedly told Jobson that the monarch said, “Meghan cannot have whatever she wants. She gets what tiara she’s given by me.”
Prince Harry apparently upset his grandfather, Prince Philip
Just as Prince Harry seems to have burnt bridges with the queen and Prince William, he also might have gotten on the wrong side of his grandfather, if reports are to be believed. Prince Philip, who turned 99 on June 10, 2020, was allegedly not very happy with Harry’s decision to step back months prior.
According to the Express, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams revealed, “During his whole life the duke has shown devotion to the queen and service to the monarchy and it is likely he will have taken a dim view of Harry and Meghan’s recent activities.” The newspaper also noted that Philip “is not someone to mince his words,” so it’s extremely possible that Harry had a pretty unpleasant conversation with his grandad about his decision.
Meanwhile, a July 2020 report in the Times Select also revealed that, due to coronavirus restrictions and the fact that Prince Harry left the country with his wife and son, Prince Philip was likely concerned that his great-grandson might have left the United Kingdom forever. As the publication reported, “Some in royal circles have even started to wonder whether the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will ever see their one-year-old great-grandson Archie again amid the escalating row.”
With some pandemic lockdown measures starting to lift, as of this writing, there might be hope that Archie will get to spend time with his great-grandparents in the near future, but relations are presumably tense.
Did Prince Harry let the queen down, too?
Prince Harry’s alleged actions since becoming romantically involved with Meghan Markle aren’t the only things he’s done which have reportedly made the royals question his commitment to the firm. A source told Vanity Fair in January 2020 that, regarding Harry’s decision to step down from his role within the royal family, the queen “is 93 and this has been a genuine shock for her.” The source continued, “After everything she has done for Harry she feels monumentally let down. All she has done is accommodate him and Meghan from the start. The family are all very upset at how the Sussexes have behaved, not least because of the impact it has had on the queen, who has a very frail husband.”
Along with Harry’s behavior since then, the royal family has been forced to defend the prince on numerous occasions throughout the years. In 2005, the prince found himself in trouble after he wore a Nazi uniform, featuring a swastika armband, to a fancy dress party. At the time, The Telegraph called Harry’s shocking outfit “a new low for the prince, whose late teenage years have been [characterized] by a facility for ‘hell-raising,’ including excessive drinking, cannabis use and taking a swing at photographers.” According to the publication, Harry was forced to issue an apology, and reportedly “received yet another dressing down from his father,” Prince Charles. Clearly, Prince Harry has never been an angel, and has burnt some bridges along the way.
Prince Harry cut ties with Kate Middleton and Prince William
Rumors of a rift between Prince Harry and Prince William were further compounded when it was suggested that there was significant tension between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, too. This seemed to be confirmed when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to break away from Kensington Palace and no longer be part of the Royal Foundation, the charitable organization now fronted by Prince William and Kate Middleton, rather than the so-called “Royal Fab Four.”
Reporting on the decision in June 2019, Vanity Fair revealed that Prince Harry’s split from the organization, which he originally founded with his brother, was a “natural and organic progression,” per a source. An insider also suggested that the Sussexes and the Cambridges had “very different ambitions,” which is why splitting up their work endeavors was important.
At the time, a royal aide told Vanity Fair that, following the split, “the two foundations will work closely together.” However, it would seem that this never really transpired, with Meghan and Harry’s Sussex Royal remaining very separate from William and Kate’s Royal Foundation. Aides also tried to suggest that “the creation of a new charity forum for the Sussexes is not because of any royal rift or distance between the couples.” However, since the formal split took place, the Sussexes and the Cambridges have seemed more distant than ever.
Prince Harry didn't want to live next door to the Cambridges
As well as formally separating their charitable and work endeavors, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry also decided to move out of Kensington Palace and into a home of their own in Windsor. In March 2017, it was reported by the Daily Mail that they planned to move into an apartment in Kensington Palace, next door to the residence of Prince William and Kate Middleton and their children. A source even told the publication, “It’s sweet that Harry and Meghan will be living next to William and Kate.”
However, in November 2018, it was revealed that any plans for the couples to become next door neighbors were well and truly off. A source told The Sun, “The initial plan was for Harry and Meghan to move out of their cottage in the grounds of Kensington Palace and into one of the main apartments … But there has been a bit of tension between the brothers.” As a result, the Sussexes decided to leave Kensington Palace altogether, where they’d been living in Harry’s small Nottingham Cottage residence, and moved to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor instead. As a source confirmed to The Sun, “Now Harry and Meghan don’t want to live next to William and Kate and want to strike out on their own.” That bridge was seemingly well and truly burnt.
Prince Harry skipped Christmas with the royal family
Christmas is an important time for the royal family, with Queen Elizabeth regularly hosting celebrations at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk. As a result, members of the royal family are usually expected to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the royal residence. However, in 2019, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry decided to make their own plans and forwent spending the festive season with her majesty. Instead, for their son Archie’s first Christmas, “Harry and Meghan are having a small Christmas with just immediate family instead of spending it at Sandringham,” a source revealed to Us Weekly that November. The insider also suggested that “the rift between William and Harry is one of the main reasons behind their decision.”
As Us Weekly reported, Buckingham Palace commented on Harry and Meghan’s decision in a statement and said, “Having spent the last two Christmases at Sandringham, [the couple] will spend the holiday this year, as a new family, with the duchess’ mother, Doria [Ragland].” The palace also tried to downplay any rumors of a rift by saying, “This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the royal family, and has the support of Her Majesty The Queen.”
However, it’s undeniable that Meghan and Harry’s decision to spend Archie’s first Christmas apart from the royals appeared to send a strong message to the rest of the family.
Prince Harry appeared to ignore his royal duties
Prince William and Prince Harry have always had very different roles within the royal family, particularly as William will one day be the king of England, as heir to the British throne after Prince Charles. As such, William is incredibly focused on his dedication to the crown, and he allegedly wants other family members to follow his lead.
In July 2020, Fox News reported on Harry’s decision to step down as a senior member of the royal family. According to the publication, the editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, Nick Bullen, explained, “I’m told [William] was really hurt when Harry chose to step away from the full-time royal title … I understand he was very hurt when he left.” Bullen continued, “When it became apparent that Harry wanted this sort of more part-time royal role, William was very clear … that there wasn’t an option for a part-time role … You’re either in or you’re out … It’s about duty first.”
With their very different roles within the royal family, it’s understandable that some tension might have arisen from Harry’s decision to move in a very different direction. It would seem that Harry put his new family above his sense of duty as a royal, which is extremely relatable, but perhaps not what William expected of his younger brother. Sadly, the wedge between the brothers only seems to grow wider with every new report.
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