King Charles Point Blank Asked Prince Harry to Stop Complaining Publicly About the Royal Family, Royal Author Says

“Everyone knows that when a King asks you to do something, there are going to be consequences if you do not obey.”

King Charles, Prince Harry walking
(Image credit: Getty)

After the publication of his memoir, Spare—which did not shy away from delving deep into Prince Harry’s life and, vis a vis, the royal family he grew up in—royal author Tom Quinn told The Mirror that King Charles has point blank asked his younger son to not leak any more royal family secrets and to stop divulging what happens in the royal family behind closed doors. 

“Harry has been asked directly by his father not to write or say publicly anything further about the family or his brother [Prince William] that might cause trouble,” Quinn said. “And everyone knows that when a King asks you to do something, there are going to be consequences if you do not obey.”

Prince Harry and King Charles walking together

Quinn said the King directly asked Harry to stop complaining publicly about the royal family after the publication of "Spare."

(Image credit: Getty)

In addition to Spare, royal family secrets were laid bare in Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, as well as their 2022 Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan.

“Over the years that Harry has complained about his treatment by his family, he has had just one aim—to get an apology and to see his father and brother make amends,” Quinn said. “Harry just can’t see that complaining in private might work; complaining publicly just makes things worse and, in Harry’s case, that means more and more ties to his past being severed.”

The strain in Harry’s relationship with his father and brother escalated when he and Meghan stepped back as working members of the royal family in 2020 and subsequently moved to the U.S., where they are raising children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet. The continued distance between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family could ultimately trickle down and affect the kids, former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond said: “Children grow up and are innately curious about their heritage and background,” she said. “And when your heritage is one of the most famous families in the world, it will undoubtedly seem rather odd and perhaps sad that you hardly know or remember them.”

She added “Imagine Archie, aged 15, telling his friends ‘My grandpa is/was King! And my uncle is/will be King, too.’ But he hardly knew or met them. How sad.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Harry and Meghan, seen here during their time as working royals before stepping back in January 2020.

(Image credit: Getty)

Harry has publicly said himself that he has enough material for a second volume of Spare—which in and of itself was 416 pages long—but Quinn told The Mirror that if another tell-all came from Harry’s pen, that would be the last straw for the King: “Publication of a new book with yet more revelations about fights and bullying would certainly put an end, finally, to Harry’s relationship with his family, even though there isn’t much of that relationship left, anyway,” he said.

A source speaking to OK said that Harry wishes to “put an end to the feud” and “regrets the way that things have turned out,” adding that he sees patching relations up with his family as the only way forward. “I think there’s no plan B for Harry,” they said. “Patching things up with his family is the only option. It’s finally hit home how difficult it will be to repair the damage caused by the various swipes at his family over the years.” 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.