The Truth About King Charles' Relationship With Meghan Markle

To say that King Charles III's relationship with his daughter-in-law Meghan Markle has been a rocky road is the understatement of the century. The new monarch may have embraced the former actress initially when his son Prince Harry first fell in love with her, but since that time, a lot of family drama has played out between them, almost like a season of "The Crown."

From initial support, to estrangement and back to a possible reconciliation, the King has definitely been tried since the Duchess of Sussex entered the picture. Likewise, it seems that the mom of two has struggled to find her footing with her father-in-law, although, it must be said, not for lack of asserting herself and her viewpoints.

Ultimately, while we don't know for sure what the future of the dynamic between the two senior royals looks like, if the past is any indication, fiery tempers and conflicting views of right and wrong will long characterize the relationship between King Charles and Meghan.

Things started out strong for King Charles and Meghan Markle

Back in 2016 when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle began dating, it seems the royal didn't waste any time introducing his new love to the family. Us Weekly reported in November of that year that King Charles had already met Meghan, with a source saying, "It went really well. Everyone loved Meghan."

Just a year later, the couple was engaged (via Town & Country). At that time, the King, who was the Prince of Wales, released a statement via Clarence House saying he was "delighted" by the betrothal. So, at least publicly, Harry's father supported the match.

Then, things got tricky as the spring 2018 wedding approached. Meghan famously sparred with her father over his decision to talk to the media, with Thomas Markle ultimately not attending the royal affair. But would you believe that the now Duchess of Sussex may have felt pressure to reconcile with her dad from a senior royal?

King Charles wanted to vote down drama

In Tom Bower's book "Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors," the British journalist claims that King Charles was not happy with his new daughter-in-law just months after her wedding to Prince Harry (via Page Six).

His growing disapproval may have stemmed from the former actress' family drama being splashed all over the media. To that end, the then-heir to the throne spoke with the Duchess of Sussex in the hopes of convincing her to make up with Thomas Markle, going so far as to request that she fly to Mexico to patch up their estrangement. "He had never really understood her or what she wanted," Bower wrote in the tome, adding that Meghan declined to visit her dad even at the future monarch's urging.

It wouldn't be long before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to cut their losses and leave London — and the royal family. Just why they did so may have had something to do with Meghan's crumbling relationship with her high-profile father-in-law.

King Charles may have been to blame for Megxit

In January of 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced a big change to their status within the royal family. In a statement posted to Instagram, they said in part, "We intend to step back as 'senior' members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen." The statement also expressed that the couple would "continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen" and "The Prince of Wales."

But what was really going on behind the scenes?

While we don't know what tensions lied beneath the surface, it has been reported that then Prince Charles financially supported the couple until the summer of 2020 (via Vanity Fair). Still, his bankroll didn't prevent Harry from potentially exposing one of the reasons that he and Meghan may have wanted to separate themselves from the royals during that Oprah Winfrey interview.

In a shocking moment, Harry said someone in his family had expressed concern over how dark their unborn son Archie's skin might be. Many subsequent reports have speculated that the unnamed individual was in fact King Charles (via The Cut).

Several high-profile royal events changed everything

With Prince Harry and Meghan Markle living in Montecito, California and King Charles being back in London, and the Oprah Winfrey interview casting a very negative light on the royal family, one has to wonder what the state of Meghan's relationship was with her son's grandfather.

Soon after the sit-down, sadly, family patriarch Prince Philip would pass away in April of 2021. Since Meghan was quite pregnant with Lilibet at the time, she ultimately decided not to fly back to the UK for the somber occasion. According to at least one account, senior royals possibly including the Queen's firstborn son, were "pleased" that the Duchess of Sussex wouldn't be on hand for Philip's funeral (via E! News).

It wasn't until the new family of four — Harry, Meghan, Archie and Lilibet — traveled to London in June of 2022 for Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee that King Charles met his granddaughter. The soon-to-be King reportedly put any strife he may have had with his son and daughter-in-law aside and enjoyed what was described as an "emotional" encounter with Archie and Lili (via Today).

But the drama was far from over.

The Queen's death may prompt the King and Meghan to re-evaluate their relationship

In the months after the Platinum Jubilee, Meghan Markle has been nothing if not very outspoken about her experiences with the royal family. One outlet for the duchess' angst has been her podcast "Archetypes," in which the mom of two has made not-so-subtle accusations that once she started dating Prince Harry, her sense of ambition was basically killed.

But everything changed when Queen Elizabeth died earlier this month. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex happened to be in Europe for a speaking tour when the worst happened. Harry immediately dropped everything and went to Scotland to be with his father and brother, Prince William. But Meghan stayed away, with a source revealing, "Tensions were so high and there was no way Meghan could have gone to Balmoral" (via Page Six).

Later it was reported that it was King Charles himself who forbid his son from bringing his controversial wife to the estate on the day the Queen died. "Charles told Harry that it wasn't right or appropriate for Meghan to be in Balmoral at such a deeply sad time," a source told The UK Sun, going on to note that Kate Middleton was also not in attendance. "Charles made it very, very clear Meghan would not be welcome," the so-called insider told the outlet.

So where do things stand today between Meghan and King Charles?

King Charles is looking toward a more united future

The world was shocked to see the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex together as a foursome again just days after the Queen died, greeting mourners at Windsor Castle. The moment proved that the bond between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry is stronger than ever and offered a glimmer of hope that the two brothers may finally be patching up their rocky relationship. Is there hope for Kate Middleton and her sister-in-law as well?

But what about Meghan and the new King? Could their relationship be salvaged after so many years of turmoil? Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022 marked the first time the new monarch and his daughter-in-law were photographed together since the Jubilee (via Hello!). And while King Charles hadn't wanted Meghan at Balmoral the day the Queen died, he clearly okayed her presence at the events leading up to his mother's funeral.

And royal experts have pointed to his line in his first official address as King that expressed his love for Meghan and Harry "as they continue to build their lives overseas" (via Today). People editor-in-chief Wendy Naugle called the moment "a big olive branch."

How things will progress from here remains to be seen but we are rooting for a royal reconciliation!