Is Prince Harry Braver Than His Father Prince Charles For Standing Up to Queen Elizabeth?

Once upon a time, Prince Charles wanted to marry someone that his mother Queen Elizabeth deemed inappropriate. Instead of following his heart, the Prince of Wales bent to the pressure of his family and married the woman she chose for him instead.

Fast forward a few years and Charles was divorced and quietly dating his long-time love and former mistress, Camilla. But instead of forcing the issue and insisting the queen allow them to marry, Charles continued keeping their romance private until the queen finally relented.

It’s a far different situation from what’s currently going on with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. But some royal fans are wondering — is Prince Harry braver than his father for standing up to the queen?

British royal family
British royal family | DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry values his happiness more than tradition

It seemed like a shocking move at the time. But Prince Harry’s decision to step back from royal life and forge a new destiny was a long time coming. The Duke of Sussex has had a contentious relationship with the press for years, and after his wife Meghan got dragged into it, Harry finally had enough.

The couple announced their intentions to quit work as senior royals and make themselves financially independent. Interestingly, they used Instagram to make the announcement before they hammered out the details with Queen Elizabeth. This move forced her to make a statement on their decision in a timely fashion.

Prince Charles never came close to pushing his agenda in such an egregious way. But we must remember there’s one major difference between Charles and Harry.

Prince Harry and Prince Charles
Prince Harry and Prince Charles | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince Charles must play by the rules because he’s the future king

The Prince of Wales is the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, which is a fancy way of saying he’s been waiting the longest to become king. And one thing he’s not willing to do is jeopardize his chances by angering his mother, Queen Elizabeth.

It’s true that Prince Charles chose the safe route when he allowed his relationship with Camilla to be dictated by his mother’s opinions. But he always had more to lose than Prince Harry does. With a very small chance of becoming the reigning monarch and absolutely no desire to be one, the Duke of Sussex would have been willing to leave the royal family behind.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles | Sang Tan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

There’s no way Charles could have married Camilla

The rules for royals have relaxed a lot over the years. Even as recently as 1980, Prince Charles couldn’t have considered marrying a non-virgin bride. Plus, he’s not the first future monarch who was forced to marry someone ill-suited to himself because of financial stability, political gain, or bloodlines instead of marrying for love.

Luckily for William, the standards changed over the years and the Duke of Cambridge chose his bride based on feelings, not lineage. But that wasn’t the case when Prince Charles was getting married. And because he respected his mother’s wishes, Prince Charles married Diana because that’s what she wanted.

Prince Charles is rumored to have some strong feelings about Prince Harry’s recent announcement. However, no one can say Harry is braver than his father. The circumstances are just way too different to compare the two situations.