In a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, Prince Harry revealed that following discussions of his exit from the royal family, his father, Prince Charles, “stopped taking his calls.”
Harry said that his father had asked him to put his and Meghan Markle’s plans to leave “in writing,” which he did. But the future king was still unhappy with Harry’s decision.
“I took matters into my own hands,” Harry told Winfrey. “It was like, ‘I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody. It’s really sad that it’s got to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, my wife’s and for Archie’s as well,’ because I could see where this was headed.”
Later in the interview, Harry admitted he felt “let down” by his father, who went through a similar situation with Harry and Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana of Wales.
“He knows what pain feels like, and Archie’s his grandson,” Harry said. “But at the same time, of course I will always love him. But there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship.”
For the past few years, reports have also surfaced of “fraternal fissure” between Harry and William, who now live in different countries after Harry and Meghan officially stepped back from the royal family for a life of service in Los Angeles. William reportedly felt that Harry was abandoning his sense of duty and birthright, especially considering Queen Elizabeth’s age and their father’s potential accession to the throne.
But on Sunday, now 36, Harry shot down rumors that he and William were still feuding, telling Winfrey, “I love William to bits. He’s my brother, we’ve been through hell together ... but we were on different paths.”
“The relationship is space, at the moment. And, you know, time heals all things, hopefully,” he added.
Harry previously spoke about the reported rift in the 2019 documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.” He insisted that while he and William have good days and bad days, most of the reports are “created out of nothing.”
“Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure it’s under, inevitably stuff happens. But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers,” Harry said at the time. “We’re certainly on different paths at the moment. But I’ll always be there for him and, as I know, he’ll always be there for me. We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly.”
William, 38, has remained quiet on the subject. But he and wife, Kate Middleton, were reportedly unhappy with Harry and Meghan’s behavior toward the royal institution following the announcement of their exit.
In his interview with Winfrey, Harry once again accused the media of creating false narratives, saying, “I’ve never blindsided my grandmother. I have too much respect for her.”
Harry said he spoke with the Queen on multiple occasions about the idea of him and Meghan stepping back from the royal family.
“When we were in Canada, I had three conversations with my grandmother and two conversations with my father before he stopped taking my calls,” he said.
Later in the interview, Harry confirmed that he and his father were back on speaking terms but that he felt like his family was stuck in the monarchy.
“I was trapped, but I didn’t know I was trapped,” he said. “My father and my brother, they are trapped. They don’t get to leave.”