keeping up with the royals

What Is Going On Between Prince Harry and King Charles?

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After spending a week dissecting Meghan Markle’s every move — from the way she held her husband’s hand to the creases on her dress — the British press seems to have graduated to a new subject: her husband, Prince Harry. As the royal mourning of Queen Elizabeth continues, rumors about Harry’s tense relationship with his father are growing. And, if reports are to be believed, King Charles III might be the pettiest royal of all.

According to a new report from the Daily Telegraph’s royal correspondent Victoria Ward, via the Daily Beast, Charles waited almost two hours to tell Harry that the queen had died. Ward reported that Charles called both his sons early on September 8 to get them to Balmoral to see the queen before she died, but that Harry “received that call some time after Prince William.” She reportedly suggested that Harry was not invited to join the royal family’s private flight to Scotland, which meant he had to scramble to get his own flight to Balmoral. Per the report, Harry’s flight took off at 5:35 p.m. — an hour after Prime Minister Liz Truss had been informed of the queen’s death. Charles reportedly didn’t tell Harry about his grandmother’s passing until around 6:25 p.m., five minutes before the royal family released the official announcement. And, to top it all off, Ward claimed that Harry didn’t even get to see his father or brother when he arrived. So much for sending his “love” to Harry and Meghan.

In the days since King Charles has assumed the throne, his reign has gotten only messier. First, Harry was not allowed to wear his military uniform to attend Queen Elizabeth’s service — something both he, an actual veteran, and Prince Andrew, an alleged rapist, were denied. Then, reports stated that he and Meghan were invited to attend a royal-family reception for world leaders at Buckingham Palace on Sunday, September 18. Many saw the invitation as a gesture of goodwill, until Saturday, when it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had actually been disinvited with a palace spokesperson saying that the reception was “for working members of the royal family” only.

That wasn’t the end of the uniform drama. After reports surfaced that Princes Harry and Andrew would be the only men in the immediate line of succession not allowed to wear their service uniforms, King Charles decided that Harry could wear his military uniform to attend a vigil on Saturday night, only to reportedly remove the queen’s “EIIR” royal cypher from Harry’s jacket, a “snub” that reportedly left Harry “heartbroken.” Harry was once again in his morning suit (a.k.a. commoner clothes) as he attended Queen Elizabeth’s funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday, but he made it clear through his spokesperson that what he wore didn’t matter. “His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” he said in a statement last week. All in all, the insistence on Harry’s morning suit may have been a misstep: After he wore his suit to the queen’s procession earlier this week, fans immediately latched onto the image of him standing out among the royal family in their military uniforms, making him look like a king.

Sometime after the funeral, King Charles is expected to make official decisions about the titles to be held by Harry and Meghan’s children, Archie and Lilibet. Tradition and current law would have them retain HRH titles and officially become prince and princess, but their titles have not been officially announced. According to reports, what King Charles decides could make or break these family relations for good. Sounds like we have a lot more royal pettiness to look forward to.

This post has been updated.

What Is Going On Between Prince Harry and King Charles?