Prince Harry’s relationship with his father, King Charles, has long been fraught with tension. But it was seemingly always an affectionate bond between Harry and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth—until Harry called her and incessantly complained about life post-royal step back, a new book claims.
Veteran royal correspondent Robert Jobson writes in his latest, Our King—as reported on in The Independent—“that both the late Queen and King Charles stopped taking phone calls from Prince Harry after he moved to California,” the outlet reports.
Harry and wife Meghan Markle stepped back as working members of the royal family in January 2020. By then, they had already relocated to North America, first staying in Canada before eventually settling in Meghan’s native California, where they now live in Montecito and are raising their two children Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet.
But even after the infamous step back and his move across the pond, Harry stayed closely connected with the Queen. Jobson writes that Harry called his grandmother regularly—until he “kept trying to air his grievances,” Jobson writes. “In the end, [the late Queen] asked him to speak directly to his father instead.”
As Marie Claire reported today, “Her Majesty found Prince Harry’s calls quite difficult and wearisome,” Jobson writes. “She didn’t want to interfere in the father/son relationship and would urge him to speak to his father.”
Eventually, Harry did call Charles, which ended in the Duke of Sussex allegedly cursing at his father, and Charles eventually “stopped taking Harry’s calls after his son swore at him and repeatedly asked for funds,” Jobson writes. “When the Queen asked Charles why he hadn’t given in, he told her that he wasn’t a bank.”
Jobson writes that Her late Majesty “felt let down” by Harry’s decision to step back from royal duties and saw the departure of the Sussexes “as a missed opportunity.” That said, Jobson writes, the Queen still hoped “her grandson would find peace and happiness.”
Jobson also writes in Our King that royal aides allegedly described Harry as “Meghan’s hostage” behind the couple’s back, believing that Harry had Stockholm syndrome—when victims empathize with their captors, The Independent reports. (Come onnnnnn, now…)
“There was a point when officials joked Harry was the victim of Stockholm syndrome, and he was Meghan’s hostage, but now most just feel Harry has turned his back on everything he has known,” Jobson writes.
Our King is out on Thursday.
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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.
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