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Prince Harry made headlines this week when speaking to Today’s Hoda Kotb: “We have a really special relationship,” he said. “We talk about things she can’t talk about with anyone else.” Of his beloved grandmother—whom he chose to honor by naming his daughter, Lilibet, after Her Majesty’s childhood nickname, and whom he saw alongside wife Meghan Markle a week before her 96th birthday—“she is on great form,” Harry said. “She’s always got a great sense of humor with me.”
It seems the relationship between the Queen and the Duke of Susssex is a mutual admiration society, according to the Queen’s biographer Robert Hardman, author of the recently released Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II (opens in new tab). Though the Queen is “sad” about Harry’s departure as a working royal, “I don’t think it’s all-consuming,” Hardman told The Daily Express. “She’s still very fond of Harry.”
The Queen has always had an innate ability to separate her family from The Firm, and, while she adores him as a grandson, she walks a firm line when it comes to work.
“There’s the family stuff and the business stuff, and the business stuff is non-negotiable,” Hardman said. “‘You can’t do this, Harry. I’m sorry. It’s just the way it is.’ And her officials will tell his officials that, and those conversations will happen at arm’s length. But he’s still devoted to her, and she’s still devoted to him. They still talk. I’m told he talks to her more often than he talks to anyone else in the family.”
After the seemingly successful visit to Windsor prior to he and Meghan heading to The Netherlands for the Invictus Games, reportedly Harry and Meghan were invited to attend Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in June. (It coincides perfectly with the Queen’s namesake Lili’s first birthday on June 4.) Of the possibility of the Sussex family attending, Harry told Today “I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things—security issues and everything else. So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that, you know, I can get my kids to meet her [the Queen].”
In the same interview, Harry told Kotb he was intent on “making sure she is protected and got the right people around her.”
It’s a relationship that Her Majesty apparently appreciates and cherishes: “He’s still quite cheeky and can get away with things that others possibly can’t,” Hardman said. “She’s got a soft spot for him.”
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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