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Prince Harry may have taken a step back as a working member of the royal family over two years ago—but he will always be Queen Elizabeth’s grandson.
And a beloved one at that: PEOPLE quotes a friend as saying that Her Majesty adores Harry, who recently traveled to the U.K. alongside wife Meghan Markle and children Archie and Lilibet, named for the Queen’s familial nickname.
“If Harry asks, the Queen would say yes,” a friend tells the outlet of the bond between the Queen and the Duke of Sussex. “She adores him.”
The pair’s relationship was put on display in front of the entire world in 2016, when Harry asked his grandmother to join him for a cheeky, playful video to promote Harry’s Invictus Games, a cause close to his heart.
For those that don’t remember this video, a refresher: As they sit on a floral sofa in Windsor Castle, Harry leans in to show his grandmother a short video on his phone, where then-President Barack Obama and then-First Lady Michelle Obama teased him about the upcoming games, saying that the U.S. was preparing to win big.
“One of the servicemen surrounding the Obamas sent out a triumphant ‘boom’ to underscore the boast,” PEOPLE reports.
In response, as cameras rolled, the normally stoic Queen “shrugged her shoulders and said in classic understatement: ‘Boom, really? Please.’”
It’s a moment that could really have only happened with Harry by her side.
“Six years later, it’s clear there are few, if any, members of the Queen’s extended family who would have the confidence and the humor to ask the Queen to take part in such a stunt,” PEOPLE writes. “Harry’s doing so underlined both the respect between him and his grandmother and her willingness to show a different side of herself for him—in front of the world.”
Obviously, much has changed since 2016: Harry met and married Meghan, became a father, stepped back from life as a working royal, moved to the U.S., endured a pandemic, and has experienced friction with his father, Prince Charles, and, more notably, his brother, Prince William. But, despite all of this, the bond between grandmother and grandson remains in place: Harry and the Queen chat frequently via video calls, and Harry has publicly stated that he is protective of his grandmother, wishing to keep the right people around the monarch.
“For her part, the Queen has had to steer a tricky course between sympathy for the couple [Harry and Meghan] and firmness in favor of her role as monarch,” PEOPLE writes.
Yet, though Her Majesty was forced to make tough decisions surrounding Harry (and Meghan’s) status as working royals—including not allowing them to stand on the Buckingham Palace balcony for Trooping the Colour earlier this month—her role as an adoring grandmother remains firmly intact.
“One thing about the Queen is she has to manage being a grandmother, but also how it affects the wider institution,” a royal insider tells the outlet.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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