Inside Prince Harry's Latest Attempt To Heal His Relationship With Prince Charles

How long can a father hold a grudge against his son? That's the question hanging over the ongoing feud between Prince Charles and Prince Harry. The two have been chilly toward each other ever since the younger prince and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped away from royal life. In his famous Oprah interview, Harry claimed that his father "stopped taking [his] calls" for a time and that he felt "let down" by his Charles' lack of support for his personal choices (via Entertainment Tonight). Of course, the interview — and the prince's accusations against the palace — didn't exactly help matters nor did the resulting bitterness between Harry and his brother, Prince William, which reportedly left Charles "shellshocked" and wounded, according to People.

While Harry made brief appearances at the funeral of his grandfather Prince Philip and at the unveiling of a statue dedicated to his mother, he didn't stay long enough to connect much with his father or brother. With every passing week and month, it seemed that this rift was destined to go on indefinitely. 

However, recent reports from insiders indicate that the royals could be getting closer to a real reconciliation. A source has told The Sun that Prince Harry has quietly been reaching out to his father in an attempt to smooth over the hard feelings. "There has been a definite thaw in relations between Harry and Charles. They are on much better terms and have been having friendly chats and video calls," the source said. 

Prince Charles is reportedly chatting regularly with his younger son

Perhaps realizing that his father and grandmother are getting on in years, Prince Harry seems to be anxious to heal the family wounds before it's too late for apologies. "There is a feeling he is coming back more into the fold and wants to be closer to his family," The Sun source said.

Even more hopefully, other sources report that last Christmas, Prince Charles offered to let the Sussexes stay with him (via The Mirror). Although pandemic restrictions made that impossible, there are two upcoming major events — a memorial service for Prince Philip in the spring and Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee this June — that would present the perfect opportunity for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to take Charles up on the offer. "The Prince of Wales has been saddened that he hasn't had the opportunity to spend time with his grandchildren, which he really does miss," a source told the paper. "He is a fantastic grandfather and loves playing the role immensely and it's certainly fair to say he feels there is something missing from his life without the ability to get to know Harry's children."

If Harry opts not to make the two trips, it will most likely be due to security concerns rather than hard family feelings. His lawyers have petitioned the British Home Office to give him protection from government police during his visits home — a demand that is reportedly being denied by the officials (via Daily Mail). So, it may be that the Sussexes will have to make do with video chats for a while longer.

Prince Charles honored both his sons in an open letter

There were other signs, earlier this year, Prince Charles's attitude to his youngest son might be thawing. In particular, in a personal essay for Newsweek, the heir to the throne of England praised both Prince William and Prince Harry for their continued efforts to combat the climate crisis. "The scale and scope of the threat calls for regional and global solutions that will require the active participation of every sector of industry, in every country around the world," Charles railed in the lengthy piece.

He continued, "As a father, I am proud that my sons have recognized this threat. Most recently, my elder son, William, launched the prestigious Earthshot Prize to incentivize change and help repair our planet over the next ten years by identifying and investing in the technologies that can make a difference." Charles urged world leaders and communities to work together to tackle the most pressing environmental issues. 

He went on to note, "My younger son, Harry, has passionately highlighted the impact of climate change, especially in relation to Africa, and committed his charity to being net zero." Although Charles and Harry might not have been on the best terms at the time, the royal's choice to include his youngest son in the piece exemplified how much love still existed between the two.

Especially since, as The Mirror reported at the time, there was no mention of the Duke of Sussex in the Queen's COP26 speech.

Is this the real reason Prince Charles is mending fences with Prince Harry?

Jack Royston, royal correspondent for Newsweek, told Marie Claire that Prince Charles's decision to include Prince Harry in his piece for the publication "shows he does not want Oprah to be the end of their relationship." Royston noted how difficult it must have been for the Prince of Wales to see his son talking about him negatively in the media, using terms such as "total neglect" and "genetic pain." And yet, according to the royal expert, since Charles could be ascending the throne very shortly, "Such clear and public praise for Harry shows he wants to move past the acrimony and look to the future, not the past."

However, another royal expert isn't quite as optimistic. According to Express, during a recent appearance on chat show "Lorraine," Russell Myers suggested Charles may only be reaching out to Harry out of fear about what he's going to reveal in his upcoming memoir. Myers explained, "I'm sure it won't be pleasant reading and whether Charles thinks that he needs to extend this olive branch, I'm not too sure about that." Myers also pointed to how Harry is currently suing the British government over security concerns, describing the situation as "messy" but also acknowledging, "When is it not recently?"

Harry has promised his memoir will be an "accurate and wholly truthful" account of his life, which might be giving his father pause considering everything they've been through together.