What The Queen Reportedly Asked Meghan And Harry To Do Before Their Secret Visit

The relationships behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace have seemingly been rocky following the intense interview Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, did with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 (via Rolling Stone). Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview, which was the first the couple had done since their 2017 engagement, contained shocking claims of racism within the British royal family, divisions, and long-held tensions.

As a result of the interview, as well as Harry and Meghan's decision to leave the royal life for a quiet California escape, things seemingly haven't been the same between members of the royal family since (via ABC 7 Chicago). The Duke and Duchess of Sussex walked away from their royal duties in 2020 and made their unhappiness with the rest of the family public knowledge, leading to an alleged estrangement with the royals back in England (per People).

Recently, though, Harry and Meghan made their way back to the United Kingdom for the first time in years for a secret meeting with Queen Elizabeth. Apparently, it seems as though the queen put some rules into place before she agreed to meet with the dynamic duo.

Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth once had a special bond

Before Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to leave the royal family and resign from their duties, Harry shared a special bond with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. According to New Idea AU, Harry was always the favorite of her two grandsons from Prince Charles. While Prince William is next in line for the throne following his father, the queen shared more of a special bond with Harry than she did with William.

In a statement following the announcement that Harry and Meghan would be stepping away from royal duties, Queen Elizabeth wrote, "Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family," (via the royal website). She added, "I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country ... and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family."

Presently, however, the relationship between Harry and the queen has reportedly changed a bit. The Duke of Sussex now visits his grandmother privately — allegedly, he recently received special instructions from her before he was permitted to see her (per Insider).

The queen reportedly asked Harry and Meghan to visit Prince Charles

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle decided to take a trip to Europe to attend the 2022 Invictus Games, the pair reportedly wanted to see Queen Elizabeth before making their way to the Netherlands. However, ahead of their visit with her, the queen allegedly requested that they make a special stop to see another member of the royal family first (via the Daily Mail).

That family member was Prince Charles, Harry's father. Daily Mail editor, Richard Kay, shared the reasoning behind the visit. "To the Queen, Easter's promise of spiritual renewal and forgiveness — such an important time of year to her — represented an opportunity," Kay wrote. He added, "But there were strings attached: Ahead of meeting the Queen, Harry would first have to see his father."

While Harry and Meghan are in the Netherlands for the Invictus Games, it seems as though a huge priority for their trip was going to see the prince's grandmother, who has been experiencing health complications following her COVID-19 diagnosis. Though Prince Harry had reportedly visited the U.K. in July, it's believed that Meghan hasn't been to visit since she and Harry chose to step down from their duties as senior working royals back in 2020 (per the BBC).

The meeting was brief

According to the New York Post, Prince Harry's meeting with his father, Prince Charles, was short and sweet. The outlet reports that the reunion took place at Windsor Castle on Thursday morning and allegedly lasted 15 minutes. Harry's wife, Meghan Markle, was in attendance, and his stepmother, Camilla Parker Bowles, reportedly made a brief appearance towards the end of the gathering.

The short meeting shows that the alleged tensions between the father and son are still there. A source told the Daily Mail that Charles struggles with the division between himself and Harry. "He loves his son and he has been broken-hearted by everything that has taken place, although he fears history repeating itself with Harry just as it did with Princess Diana." The source added, "But he also wants to keep the door open and keep talking, something he still regrets not doing with Diana."

Queen Elizabeth's goal was to reportedly bring the father and son duo back together, as she advised Harry to meet with his father before visiting her on the couple's short trip to the United Kingdom. Harry and Meghan's visit to the royal family was seen as a gesture to repair struggling relationships.

That same source told the Daily Mail, "This has been a deeply troubling time for the Royal Family and the Queen would dearly love to put the recent bitterness behind her." Apparently, the queen is still hoping for reconciliation.