Prince Harry Speaks Out About His Secret Visit With Queen Elizabeth

To say that tensions have been high between Prince Harry and his family over the past few years is a serious understatement. After his fairytale wedding to American actress Meghan Markle, Harry and the new Duchess of Sussex began to feel the pressures of royal life in the spotlight. From unfair media coverage to constant comparisons to Prince William and Kate Middleton in the relentless tabloids, Harry and Meghan eventually decided to step back from the firm — to put the final nail in the coffin, the pair sat down with Oprah Winfrey and really let the skeletons out of the royal closet, confessing that racism within the family and scrutinizing press made their experience unbearable. Meghan recalled the tragic experience she faced while pregnant, telling Oprah that she felt suicidal due to the pressures she faced from royal life. In response, Harry shared his fears with the storied interviewer, alluding to the unfair treatment his mother, Diana Spencer, also faced from the paparazzi and public. 

It has officially been two years since the two embarked on their exodus to Los Angeles with their family, and ahead of the Invictus Games in 2022 — the games' first event back since the onset of COVID-19 – Meghan and Harry went to visit Queen Elizabeth in a surprising move. Given that Meghan and Harry have established a reputation as a couple that does not hold their feelings back, people have been paying attention to their comments amid their impromptu return to England. So what has Harry said about the couple's reunion with the queen, and where do things stand between the California-based family and the royals across the pond? 

Prince Harry said it was great to see his grandmother

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's permanent departure from the United Kingdom, significant life events have come and gone as well as serious illnesses, and each time the British public thought they'd finally visit they simply wouldn't. On top of Meghan having a harsh time with the media, the couple announced in January 2022 that they didn't feel safe enough to visit England, as they weren't provided police protection now that they're not working royals. Perhaps that's why the couple's U.K. drop-by in April 2022 was not made out to be a big deal, but rather a stop along the way to the Netherlands. 

With her 96th birthday coming, Meghan and Harry decided to drop by and visit Queen Elizabeth on their way to the Invictus Games. Speaking to the BBC, Harry shared that it was "great to see her," as well as sharing that the queen wished the team luck. "She had plenty of messages for Team UK which I've already passed on to most of them," Harry told the outlet. "So, it was great to see her and I'm sure she would love to be here if she could."

Harry hasn't been in the United Kingdom since July 2021, while Meghan hasn't returned since their departure in 2020, per the BBC. Fans of the couple were delighted to see their return, and it was especially heartwarming to watch Harry reunite with his grandmother. 

The queen and her grandson have a close relationship

Prince Harry and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, have witnessed significant changes throughout their family over the past years, and to assert that their relationship has been put to the test is a severe understatement. The monarch and her grandson are said to have shared a close bond since Harry was young, and while dynamics have certainly been challenging, Harry's latest visit with Elizabeth was said to have gone very well. 

While Harry has had his fair share of criticisms regarding the royal family, he has always gushed about his grandmother, especially in the CBS interview in March 2021. The Duke of Sussex confirmed that they are closer than ever — despite the literal distance as a result of his move. "I've spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years," he said during the interview. "My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her. She's my Colonel-in-chief, right? She always will be."

In the epilogue of Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's book, "Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family," a close source described Harry and the queen's relationship best. "Despite everything that has happened, he has the utmost love and respect for her. Her life of duty and service is one of the many ways in which she has inspired him to also serve," the source said, per Town & Country

Here's to hoping this means that all is well between the family members.