“I’m sure [the King] miss him,” a source close to the royal family tells PEOPLE exclusively
With the late monarch often bringing his family together, Prince Harry’s rift with the royals appears to be wider than ever. Fissures in the family became apparent when King Charles’ younger son and his wife, Meghan Markleleft the UK for the US in 2020 and relations have been strained ever since.
“I’m sure [the King] miss him. Harry is entertaining, warm and also very loving. And they had an amazing relationship,” a source close to the royal family tells PEOPLE in this week’s exclusive cover story.
King Charles “leans towards the compassionate rather than the disciplinary style of family management,” adds royal biographer and The Queen of Our Timeauthor Robert Hardman, suggesting hope for the future.
If he is looking for a way forward, the king, 74, could examine how his mother negotiated public scandals, political upheavals and family drama during her history-making 70-year reign.
“[The Queen] managed to navigate these troubled waters, which is why she has always been admired and loved — because she got the family through,” says the source close to the royal house. “[Charles] will have to show that he can do it.”
Queen Elizabeth was “particularly important [to Harry],” a friend tells PEOPLE, and the anniversary of her death is sure to be top of mind on Friday. The Queen died at Balmoral Castle aged 96 on 8 September 2022, and King Charles’s accession sparked a year of change for the Royal Family.
Although Prince Harry, 38, planned to stop in London to attend WellChild charity awards on September 7 before they go to Invictus game in Germany, which begins Saturday, sources say there is no chance of a reunion with his brother or father at any time. Prince William feeling betrayed by Harry’s claims in his memoirs,Spare partsand the Netflix docuseries Harry and Meghan, but he deals with his feelings in private, insiders say. A source who knows both brothers says the public drama “has calmed down a bit.”
In both personal and professional matters, there is “a huge loss,” says a source close to the royal household, “which [the Queen] played a very important role throughout their lives. But I’m impressed with how smoothly things are moving forward, given all the little hiccups in the background.”
The biggest “hiccup” of them all, of course, has been the ongoing estrangement of Harry and Meghan from the rest of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth – despite being someone Harry had “his own relationship” with, as Hardman puts it – was as tough on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as she felt she had to be, and ruled , that they could not be half in, half out of the royal family as they had hoped.
When it comes to the royal way of doing things, “There is no one [hemming] and hawing,” Hardman tells PEOPLE. “It’s like, ‘Here are your options, and can we get an answer by Friday?’ “
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On the surface, King Charles has followed the same signposts that have spread the royal road for decades. Along with continuing annual Balmoral traditionThe king has hosted Christmas at Sandringham as did his mother and continued with royal events such as Trooping the Color and the old Order of the Garter ceremony. He and Queen Camilla go to France on September 20 for a state visit – and while it might go undetected under the pomp and pageantry, insiders say there’s a different vibe on royal outings.
Queen Elizabeth, reflecting her generation, greeted the public from a distance and through a gloved hand, while King Charles takes a less formal approach.
“His ability to engage with everyone is a huge plus. It’s proven that he’s the right man for the right moment,” royal writer Ingrid Seward tells PEOPLE exclusively. A palace source adds, “He’s always very warm towards people and is curious about their lives.”
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The post Is there hope for King Charles and Prince Harry to reconcile? “They had a great relationship,” says the source
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