These Are The Friends Who Are Still In Prince Harry's Inner Circle

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped back from their roles as working royals in January 2020, they distanced themselves from the royal family and even some members of their inner circle, while Prince William and Catherine, Princess of Wales, stood with the firm.

Things between the British royal family and Harry have yet to improve, as of this writing, yet you would be mistaken if you think Harry is walking through his newfound life in California all alone. Of course, he has Meghan and his two kids, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet, by his side, but Harry has also cultivated a well-rounded support system full of close friends, mentors, and even one of his cousins. To say that backs were completely turned on him when he stepped down from royal life isn't fully accurate — Harry's inner circle simply shifted.

Here's a close look at who has remained a part of his life.

Princess Eugenie

Although Prince Harry's relationship with most members of the royal family took a hit, his bond with cousin Princess Eugenie has remained strong. Like Harry, Eugenie is not a working member of the family. The cousins not only grew up together, but they've navigated difficult times in the public eye simultaneously — Harry with his exodus from royal life and Eugenie with the fallout related to her father, Prince Andrew. The two have remained in each other's lives no matter the stress or setbacks, with Eugenie having visited Harry and Meghan Markle in California, as revealed in the Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Meghan."

Speaking to their dynamic, an insider close to the royal family told People in August 2023, "They're still the best of friends and talk constantly." Telling the outlet that the cousins have a mutual understanding of what it means to "live the royal machine," the source explained that Harry and Eugenie have "different priorities and different perspectives" compared to William, in particular.

While they may have bonded over shared difficult experiences, Harry and Eugenie clearly know how to have fun together, too. In 2022, they were spotted enjoying the Super Bowl in Los Angeles.

Nacho Figueras

Of all the friends in Prince Harry's inner circle, Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras might be the closest pal the Duke of Sussex has. Their friendship dates back to 2007, when they met at a polo match for Harry's Sentebale Charity, which supports HIV-positive children and young adults. Figueras now works with Harry as a Sentebale ambassador.

Figueras waded further into the spotlight amid Harry and Meghan Markle's exodus from royal life. He not only defended them but took part in telling their story. Appearing in their Netflix docuseries, "Harry & Meghan," Figueras told the cameras of the prince, "You could tell right away that those were the eyes of someone who had fallen in love." Figueras has also publicly defended Harry, going as far as sharing a lengthy statement on Instagram when the duke was slammed for traveling away from his family for a polo match. "I have been fortunate enough to spend enough time over the years to learn and understand the man he really is, a kind, generous, compassionate person," Figueras wrote. He continued: "I am honored to be your friend and let's keep fighting because if we all fight together love always wins."

Figueras and Harry's friendship is still going strong, as of this writing. In August 2023, the two were both in Tokyo for the ISPS Sports Values Summit-Special Edition and, as Figueras shared on Instagram, the men took some time to go "shopping for [their] wives."

Charlie van Straubenzee

To get into Prince Harry's friendship with inner circle member Charlie van Straubenzee, we have to revisit Prince William and Princess Catherine's wedding in 2011. Standing next to William was Harry, presumably serving as his best man. However, Harry claimed in his book "Spare" that William really asked friends James Meade and Thomas Van Straubenzee to be his best men and simply had Harry stand with him for appearances. Similarly, at Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018, William stood beside Harry but was not actually his best man. Harry revealed in "Spare" that he'd asked Charlie to be his best man. He had his brother stand beside him, though, in an effort to please the public.

Harry claimed that shortly before his wedding, William pulled out of plans to celebrate the upcoming nuptials. "Was he resentful that he wasn't my best man? That I'd asked my old friend Charlie?" Harry wrote. Charlie may have been caught up in the politics playing out between the brothers, but he remains a fixture in Harry's life nevertheless, even reuniting with Harry in Montecito, California, in May 2022 for a bike ride.

Prince Seeiso of Lesotho

Of all the members of Prince Harry's inner circle, few have the gravity and influence of Prince Seeiso of Lesotho. Having met the Duke of Sussex all the way back in 2004, the two men quickly bonded over their shared experience of losing their mother. 

Harry first traveled to Lesotho during his gap year, finding a home among the African country's people. Harry and Seeiso founded Sentebale, a charity centered on HIV, but it's clear their relationship transcends their philanthropic work. Commenting on Harry's relationship with Meghan Markle before the royal wedding, Seeiso said that Meghan would always be "most welcome" in Lesotho and by the Sentebale children, telling ITV, "Harry is one of us. He is taking a person who has African roots. Again [it just] cements our love for Harry and his respect for the African continent." 

Seeiso and Harry have maintained their friendship throughout all of the drama in recent years, and Seeiso even took part in the docuseries, "Harry & Meghan," released in December 2022. Of his relationship with Seeiso, Harry revealed in the series, "Bearing in mind we both lost our mums, it didn't take very long until we became like brothers."

James Corden

Funnyman James Corden is firmly in Prince Harry's inner circle. The former host of "The Late Late Show" attended Harry and Meghan's wedding back in 2018, and they apparently haven't lost touch since then. Corden told The Sun that he'd been to the couple's home in Montecito, California. Corden also didn't mince words when sharing how he felt about the royal couple.

"I'm a huge fan of both of them," he admitted. "Obviously, I know Harry better than I know Meghan, but I think it's really hard to judge or be judgmental. ... I have a huge amount of respect and admiration for Harry, and anyone who has been around him and spent time with him would feel exactly the same way." Corden continued, saying, "I think he is a devoted and loving husband and father, and I think what they have done is incredibly brave, and I'll always be in their corner."

Mark Dyer

Prince Harry's relationship with his father is strained, to say the least. It's not shocking, then, that Harry sought a father-like figure — and he found it in Mark Dyer, who has been referenced as the prince's "second dad" over the years.

Dyer originally worked as one of King Charles III's equerries (essentially an executive assistant) and was there for Harry in the wake of his mother's death in 1997. As Harry got older and entered his "party prince" phase, it was Dyer who reportedly guided him through the dark days, with royal biographer Penny Junor noting in a biography of Prince Harry that Dyer was "one of the few people who [talked] some sense into Harry."

Dyer and Harry have maintained their relationship over the years, even after Dyer left his post in the royal household. Dyer saw all of Harry's serious romances blossom, and he even reportedly allowed Harry and Meghan to sneak into his London-owned restaurants for secret dates early in their relationship. Harry is now the godfather of Dyer's son, Jasper, and Dyer is godfather to Harry's son, Archie. The two also remain connected through Sentebale, where Dyer serves as a trustee.

Elton John

Elton John's performance at Princess Diana's funeral back in 1997 was such a visual representation of the artist's connection to the royal family. Although his relationship with Diana was cut short due to her tragic death, he formed a close relationship with the princess' youngest son, Prince Harry. The two have remained a crucial part of each other's lives, not only supporting each other through the good times but defending one another in the bad times, too.

During John's last show at Dodger Stadium in November 2022, a prerecorded video tribute from Harry and Meghan played for the crowd. "Thank you for entertaining everybody for so many decades," Harry said in the video. "Thank you for being the friend that you were for my mum, thank you for being our friend, thank you for being a friend to our kids."

Back in 2019, John put his standing with the press and public on the line for Harry, defending the prince after he was slammed for taking a private jet and staying at John's home in France. "I am deeply distressed by today's distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's private stay at my home in Nice," John tweeted at the time. "Prince Harry's mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana's untimely death."

James Blunt

Singer James Blunt is a staple in British music, but it was his time in the British Army alongside Prince Harry's own service that bonded the two men. Continuing their friendship outside of their military service, Harry and Blunt have teamed up together for charity work, with the musician giving a performance at the 2016 Invictus Games — Harry's charity that advocates for veterans — at the duke's invitation.

Blunt was also in the pews as Harry and Meghan Markle got married in 2018. Blunt and Harry's friendship, however, has gone as far as the musician publicly defending the prince amid intense scrutiny. Appearing on "Good Morning Britain" in 2019, Blunt made his thoughts clear, saying that the press coverage Harry and Meghan were receiving was "verging on bullying." He continued, saying, "What I think I can see is they seem to be on the cover of the newspapers a lot and it seems to me to be quite vitriolic quite a lot of the time."

The singer once again spoke to the experiences Harry and Meghan had at the hands of the media, telling Hello! Magazine in 2020, "Everyone in the public eye will face criticism and it's worth realizing that those people are human beings. I've known them to work incredibly hard for other people under great scrutiny and I think that they do phenomenally well."

Tom Hardy

The closest of friends are the ones who let you raid their closets, right? That's apparently how close Prince Harry and Tom Hardy are. In an interview with Esquire, Hardy said that his bond with the prince is "deeply private" and stayed mum on the details, but he did go on to call Harry "a f***ing legend."

Like many of Harry's close friends, Hardy attended Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018. The actor went to extreme lengths to be there — flying from New Orleans, where he was working at the time, to get to London. 

Harry shared a deeper look into his friendship with the actor in his memoir, "Spare," when he revealed a hilarious tidbit about the actor. Harry apparently asked Hardy if he could borrow a costume for his and Meghan's Halloween bash before their relationship was made public, Harry wrote, "For help with my costume, I'd turned to a friend, the actor Tom Hardy, before I left home. I'd phoned him to ask if I could borrow his costume from Mad Max. The whole thing? Yes, please, mate! The whole kit."

Hardy granted the prince the favor, and he attended the event in the getup. "Several people did double takes as Meg passed through the rooms, but no one looked twice at her dystopian date," Harry wrote. "I wished I could wear this disguise every day."

David Foster

Things were certainly challenging for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when they relocated to the United States, but David Foster was in their corner. The famed music producer grew closer to the prince since his move and even helped him and Meghan find their footing.

As royal watchers will recall, Harry and Meghan lived in Canada before eventually making their way to California — and it turns out that their Canadian sanctuary belongs to Foster. Commenting on his decision to help the couple in an interview with the Daily Mail, Foster said at the time, "I felt honored that I was able to help Meghan there because I'm a Canadian and we're a Commonwealth country. It's important to us, so I grew up with that kind of sentiment. I know that it was reinvigorating for them to spend some downtime. This is a great testament to my hometown of Victoria that they were able to go under the radar for so long."

Foster's wife, Katharine McPhee, enjoys the dynamic of her husband and the prince. "My husband has a really, really beautiful relationship with Harry," she told Daily Mail. "They're so cute. They're like father and son."