The Complete Timeline Of Harry's Rift With The Royal Family

In January of 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave a surprising announcement: They were officially stepping down from their roles as full-time working royals. As noted by Us Weekly, the news that the couple would be making an exit (and moving to the U.S.) shocked the world. Unsurprisingly, the pair's choice appeared to cause a rift between Prince Harry and the rest of the royal family. However, the tension between the Duke of Sussex and the other royals had actually been a long time coming. According to a source, Prince Harry's relationship with his brother, Prince William, had already started to become strained in 2016 after the Prince of Wales advised his brother to slow down his relationship with Meghan Markle.

"Harry was pissed off that his brother would ask such a thing," reported the book "Finding Freedom" (via Us Weekly). Later in 2019, the Duke of Sussex told an ITV documentary that he and his brother were on totally separate life paths. Then after the couple's split from the U.K. and their royal duties, the tension only grew. Prince Harry and Markle gave a tell-all interview where they dropped plenty of bombshells about the royal family and their issues with them. 

Since their chat with Oprah Winfrey (along with other various interviews), the relationship between Prince Harry and his family has clearly changed for the good. Still, plenty of royal fans are dying to know the exact timeline that led to this royal family's falling out.

Prince Harry and Prince William's relationship has always had issues

Though being a member of the royal family might seem like the ultimate charmed life, that wasn't exactly the case for Prince William and Prince Harry. According to an insider via Us Weekly, there were issues between the brothers even before the pair fell out after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's break from the royal family. The source said, "There's always been a part of Harry that felt like he was living in his brother's shadow." The insider also added, "He doesn't envy the responsibility that comes with being the future king of England." Still, the prince feels that he and Prince William will always be connected.

"We're brothers, we'll always be brothers," he stated in the documentary "Harry & Meghan: An African Journey." Likewise, it would appear that the Prince of Wales feels similarly. According to a source, the former Duke of Cambridge still cares deeply for his brother and hopes that things between them will improve. Katie Nicholl, author of "Harry & Meghan: Life, Loss, and Love," said that things between the royal brothers have improved since their rift, via Cosmo

However, the repairing of their relationship isn't going to be a quick fix, and will likely involve some tension. "I don't know that things will ever be the way they were between William and Harry," Nicholl said.

Prince Harry and his wife stepped down from their royal duties

The world was shocked after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from their royal duties. Still, according to People, this seemingly unexpected circumstance was actually a long time coming. In October of 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave their fans a hint that they wanted time away from royal life when they declared they were taking six weeks off to focus on quality family time. Then on January 8, 2020, the couple's official account announced a significant change. "After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year," the post declared. The pair then revealed they would no longer be partaking in royal duties.

Soon after their announcement, Queen Elizabeth II gave an unexpected statement reflecting on the prince's choice to step away from the royal family. Although she noted that the Duke and Duchess' decision would change the family's future, the late queen showed him full support. "My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan's desire to create a new life as a young family," she stated. While Queen Elizabeth did admit that the royal family would have preferred that Prince Harry and Markle remained active as members of the royal family, she said their decision would be respected. Similarly, Time reported that after the announcement, Prince Harry gave his own public statement reaffirming his choice.

King Charles III was livid over their decision

According to Us Weekly, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's decision to step away from their roles as full-time working royals did not sit well with King Charles III. According to an insider, the couple's choice left him "livid." From there, the tension between them only seemed to grow, especially after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview where they revealed some of the family's secrets. Then, in 2021, Vanity Fair confirmed that the king had indeed cut the couple off financially after the prince claimed that his father had done so during the Oprah Winfrey interview. "Charles was quite upset at the suggestion he had cut Harry off. Initially, he didn't," a source said.

Furthermore, Us Weekly reported that Prince Harry stated during the tell-all chat that his father had even stopped returning his calls after it was officially announced that he would no longer be a working royal. According to a source, Prince Harry's televised reveal about his family further drove a wedge between himself and the king. "Charles is still fuming about Harry throwing shade at him and the royal family," they stated. "He firmly believes that his son doesn't deserve the privilege of being a royal." Similarly, the insider added that the prince was hurt that his father refused to show any support for the Duke and Duchess' choice to move away from royal duties.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave a tell-all interview

Not long after the news broke that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were stepping back from royal duties, the pair decided to share their experiences during a sit-down chat. Though their bombshell interview only furthered the wedge between the couple and the rest of the royal family, it doesn't seem like the pair has any regrets about their decision. On the contrary, according to an insider via Us Weekly, Prince Harry and Markle found their interview to be a positive experience. "Meghan and Harry both finally felt free after the interview aired," the source stated.

"They felt that they had been holding all of this inside for so many years and now it's finally off of their chests," the source revealed. Among other things, the pair dropped some seriously shocking statements during the interview. They claimed that their decision to stop working as full-time royals was a reflection of the lack of support that they felt from the rest of the family. As noted by Yahoo, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed that they had eloped before their televised royal wedding, and Markle claimed that Kate Middleton once made her cry. The couple also made another bombshell claim regarding their son, Archie. Though the pair didn't say who made the comment, they said that a family member voiced concern about his skin color by questioning how dark he'd be before he was even born.

The royal family was upset by the interview

With plenty of royal bombshells dropped in Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey, it's no surprise that the royal family was seriously upset by the couple's claims. As noted by Us Weekly, just days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's tell-all chat was released, the former Duke of Cambridge responded to the allegations made by his brother and sister-in-law. "We're very much not a racist family," he stated. Later that year, a book would claim that it was King Charles III who made the aforementioned comment about Archie's skin color before he was even born. However, the former Prince of Wales denied that allegation and told the outlet that it wasn't true. "This is fiction and not worth further comment," he said. 

Reportedly, King Charles III even reached out to lawyers regarding the statement about him. More recently, Marie Claire stated that the interviews and tell-alls were causing continued tension between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the royal family. According to a top adviser for the family, "everyone is frightened to be around them [Prince Harry and Meghan Markle]." They then said, "Anything you say might end up on the cover of an American magazine." The royal family advisor added that as a result of Markle's most recent interview with The Cut, the queen, the former Prince of Wales, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and senior palace staff were unwilling to meet with the couple.

Prince Harry said his royal life was destroying his mental health

In 2021, the Duke of Sussex met up with James Corden for "An Afternoon with Prince Harry & James Corden." During the interview, plenty of the prince's feelings were revealed. As stated by Harper's Bazaar, Prince Harry and Corden toured Los Angeles via an open-top bus, where "The Late Late Show" host provided the royal family member with tea and crumpets. Not long into the interview, the conversation switched to focus on some of the more significant issues, like Prince Harry's choice to step away from royal life. He said, "We all know what the British press can be like, and it was destroying my mental health."

"I was like, 'this is toxic,'" Prince Harry added, before stating that as a result of the media's behavior, he decided it would be best for his wife and child if he removed them from the situation. The Duke of Sussex also touched on the late queen's choice to refuse the couple from taking on a hybrid, part-time royal role. According to the prince, despite his status change from being a full-time working royal, he is still very much dedicated to public service. "I will never walk away. I will always be contributing," he said. On a lighter note, the prince also reflected on his feelings regarding the Netflix series "The Crown" (he enjoys the show), as well as his relationship with his wife and his son Archie.

Prince Harry and Prince William have reunited since their fallout

After the drama between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the royal family, it's no shocker that these issues led to tension between Prince Harry and his brother, the Prince of Wales. Still, despite their differences, Us Weekly noted that the royal brothers reunited after the passing of their grandfather, Prince Philip, in April of 2021. Body language expert Elaine Swann stated that the brothers' body language during the late royal's funeral was a good sign for Prince Harry and Prince William's relationship. The royal siblings even made headlines after they were spotted chatting alongside the Prince of Wales' wife, Kate Middleton. "William did his best to open his body language toward his brother," Swann stated in observation of the pair's interactions. She additionally noted that losing a mutual loved one could be the push the siblings needed to fix their relationship. 

According to Us Weekly, not long after the funeral of Prince Philip, the royal duo reunited again, this time in July of 2021, to unveil a statue honoring their late mother. "They didn't mend the bond at the funeral," an insider insisted, before adding that the brothers were planning on reconciling soon. "Both brothers are ready to move past the rift and have a good relationship again."

Prince Harry and King Charles III's relationship will never be the same

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's choice to stop being working royals did not sit well with King Charles III — and neither did the pair's decision to air their family issues on television. So, it's no surprise that Prince Harry's relationship with his father is strained due to the conflict. Still, according to Us Weekly, by December of 2021, the king and his youngest son were attempting to fix their relationship issues. An insider told the outlet that though the royal father and son were communicating, they weren't speaking too frequently, especially after the couple's tell-all interview. "There [are] still a lot of issues, the two of them need to work out and move forward," the source said.

However, not long after that, the king publicly made a supportive statement about his son's work to halt global warming via a January issue of Newsweek. "My younger son, Harry, has passionately highlighted the impact of climate change," he said. Still, despite King Charles III's positive feedback regarding his son's work, it seems that things between the two may never be the same. During an interview with The Cut in August, Meghan Markle stated that the couple's decisions regarding the prince's family had permanently changed things. "Harry said to me, 'I lost my dad in this process,'" she said.

The family reunited to mourn the queen's passing

The loss of a loved one can affect a family in various ways. However, feelings and grief can be even more complicated when your dearly departed family member was the queen. In the case of the royal family, it would appear that this loss made Prince William reevaluate his relationship with his brother and sister-in-law. According to Us Weekly, the Prince of Wales arranged for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to return to the U.K. to pay their respects to the late monarch. "William invited Harry and Meghan to join them," a source revealed. Similarly, the passing of his grandmother also led Prince Harry to release a public statement on her on the Archewell website. The tribute reads, "In loving memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 1926-2022."

Similarly, in a video obtained by The Sun, the Duke of Sussex can be seen telling mourners that life is a little less bright without his grandma. "It's a lonely place up there now without her," he told the well-wishers while pointing at Windsor Castle. 

It would appear that the loss of the queen affected King Charles III's feelings for his son and daughter-in-law as well. Just one day after Queen Elizabeth II's death, the new monarch declared his love for the couple during his inaugural speech. "I want ... to express my love for Harry and Meghan, as they continue to build their lives overseas," the king said (via Newsweek).

Prince Harry still plans to release a tell-all book

It would seem that things between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the rest of the royal family are beginning to improve since the Queen's passing. However, Prince Harry's upcoming memoir is definitely causing some roadblocks. According to US Weekly, the issue of the prince's book initially began in late July of 2021 when Prince Harry announced that he was writing a memoir set to be released in 2022. "I'm writing this not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become," he stated. In response, his family wasn't too pleased by the idea of another tell-all, with a source stating that the royal family was worried about what the Duke of Sussex planned to say in his book.

More recently, Edinburgh News reported that royal expert and historian Rafe Heydel-Mankoo said that Prince Harry had been asked to reconsider publishing his book in light of the Queen's death. Via GB News, the royal expert noted the royal family was hoping that the Queen's passing would make Prince Harry change his mind about releasing a memoir. Heydel-Mankoo added, "We do know obviously that this book's going to have to be rewritten somewhat because of the latest events, but I think it will go a long way to healing that rift if it was put on the shelf permanently." However, according to perth now, Prince Harry is adamant that his book be published as scheduled.