“King Charles, he was absolutely devastated,” exclaimed the wordsmiths Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand, in reference to the Prince’s reaction upon learning about Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle going public. According to the accounts of these two royal authors, who are believed to have close ties with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the announcement came just 20 minutes before it was officially made, while the Prince of Wales was preparing to meet with the King of Bahrain during a sensitive tour in the Persian Gulf in November 2016.
Charles had spent months meticulously planning the tour, with hopes that it would receive extensive media coverage. The authors state that the announcement of Harry and Meghan’s relationship, coupled with an attack on the press, would overshadow the tour, leaving Charles disheartened and feeling crushed.
The authors further claim that Harry gave his father just 20 minutes’ notice before releasing a statement confirming his relationship with Meghan. In their book, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, they write: “It was a critical moment that had been in the works for months. A statement from Kensington Palace condemning the Press and, in the same breath, confirming Harry’s new girlfriend would all but eliminate coverage of Prince Charles’s tour of the Gulf.”
The book goes on to detail how Harry was quick to lash out at anyone who dared to question his relationship, speculating that their actions could be attributed to either race or snobbery. The authors also mention that Harry had cut ties with a friend for “gossiping about Meghan” and was ready to go to war with the media.
Despite his disappointment over the timing of his son’s statement, the book asserts that Charles “understood that the situation with Meghan had reached a tipping point.” The Duke and Duchess of Sussex went on to announce their engagement in November 2017, before tying the knot on May 19, 2018. They eventually stepped down as senior royals in January 2020 and moved to the US, where they currently reside with their two children, Archie and Lilibet.
As for Prince Harry, he is currently travelling to the UK for his father’s Coronation, while Meghan stays behind with their children to celebrate Archie’s fourth birthday. The King’s younger son is expected to leave shortly after the ceremony at Westminster Abbey so that he can return home in time to join the festivities for Archie as well.