Prince Harry, family reconciliation is wishful thinking, says royal source

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Reports of an imminent reconciliation meeting between King Charles and Prince Harry have been greatly exaggerated, a friend of Charles told The Daily Beast.

Despite the fact that Charles has made it clear that, as courtiers always try to insist, he “loves both his sons” the idea of ​​Charles sitting down for a cup of Earl Gray with Meghan and Harry before the coronation, as suggested in reports from this weekend, friends of the king and queen shook their heads doubtfully.

“It’s wishful thinking,” a friend of the couple told The Daily Beast.

Confidence in Harry by the royal institution after damning allegations Reserve stands at about zero, not helped by the implied threats he has made to release more material – Harry said in an interview with the Telegraph that he could have written “two books” – and the fact that confidential meetings were mentioned in his memoirs. described.

Indeed, the book opens with a detailed account of a “secret” meeting with Charles and William, convened by Harry, in a graveyard, after the burial of the Duke of Edinburgh.

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It’s hard to see how Charles could attend a private meeting with his youngest son (or even write or even call him) without assuming notes were being taken – and perhaps later served to the public in a sequel to the best-selling book.

While most informed observers generally still expect Harry and Meghan to receive an invitation to the coronation, there is considerable doubt about the chances of a pre-coronation meeting, to say the least.

The speculation about a reconciliation meeting was sparked by an article in The Sunday times this weekend by the respected and well-informed royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah.

Nikkhah quoted a “royal source, who has the ear of the king and who knows the Sussexes well”, the source said a reconciliation meeting would take place before the coronation on Saturday 6 May.

“It’s going to take flexibility from all sides, but it can be done, it’s fixable… It needs Harry here, in the room with the King and Prince of Wales, a few other relatives, a few of ‘his people’ he trusts who always had his back so he doesn’t think he will be ambushed Someone like Elf [Ed Lane Fox, Harry’s former private secretary] and Christopher [Lord Geidt, the late Queen’s former private secretary who advised the Sussexes].

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“Both sides must hold up their hands and admit that we have not done everything right, and we have done a lot wrong, and we must say to him ‘we understand the pain you have been through’. The king can do it.”

Headline writers may have been less cautious, but Nikkhah himself studiously avoided saying such a meeting was actually planned, adding that other parties in the palace advocated the exact opposite strategy, namely a “least said, soonest recovered” approach.

She also pointed out that William is “burning” with anger at Harry’s book, suggesting it would be a chore to see Harry and William meet for a chat, though the same source countered that interpretation, saying they believed that William would indeed sit down. away with Harry if it was in the best interest of the nation.

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The story inside The Sunday times was fascinating to seasoned observers, not so much because what the source suggested might or might not happen, but because it shows clear evidence of factionalism in King Charles’s court. We must assume that there is an eloquent group in the palace who wants Charles to seek peace with Harry.

Derided as “palace wets” by GB News presenter Dan Wootton, the theme was also taken up by author Tom Bower, who said that at a recent dinner party, Charles had expressed a reluctance to confront and admonish Harry. (Both Wootton and Bower are brutal critics of Harry and Meghan.)

Bower urged him to toughen up. Charles probably won’t; Confronting Harry and letting the argument escalate might please Bower, but it would delight the publishers of Harry’s book.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (L), British Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (2nd L), British Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (3rd L), British Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (3rd R), British Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (2nd right) and Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (R) depart Westminster Abbey after attending the annual Commonwealth Service in London on March 9, 2020.

PHIL HARRIS/POOL/TBEN via Getty Images

The sense that warring factions in the palace could be fliers was reinforced by a story in the Sun who tried to knock down The Sunday times story about a reconciliation meeting, with a source saying, “There has been no conversation or contact.” And a source told The Daily Beast’s Clive Irving: “Silence is the only avenue open to them, and it’s been effective so far, in that now, finally, at least here, the narrative is winding down. The king is genuinely fond of his son and wants to hold the door open for him. By not responding, he is not feeding the argument.”

Irving’s source accurately details the royalist’s understanding of the mood at the palace (Charles’ office declined to comment on this article, as did Harry’s), where, The Daily Beast understands, the original decision to do nothing say and not to engage with the Sussexes is seen as confirmed by events to be correct.

In any case, the do-nothing position hardens. It’s not hard to see why, when the other options are so distasteful: setting up a peace summit with Harry or aggressively cutting him out of the family by, say, stripping him of his titles, both could easily serve to oxygenate the inferno rather than smother it.

Much better to just keep going, many think. As an insider told The Daily Beast last week, it’s about letting actions speak louder than words.

Public support for Meghan and Harry seems mixed. The memoir has been a runaway bestseller – on Tuesday it was announced as the fastest selling non-fiction book in the UK. However, according to YouGov, support for Harry has plummeted in the polls, while support for Charles and Camilla has only taken a small bump. Harry and Meghan’s numbers are slipping across the board and incredibly, over-65s in the UK now have a lower opinion of Harry than they do of Prince Andrew.

Harry may want an apology, but there’s no indication Charles feels under any pressure to give one. But Harry has now cornered himself by suggesting he won’t come to the coronation without an apology.

He probably shouldn’t be holding his breath.