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Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex made a startling announcement in January when they shared their plans to step back from their royal duties. Though many royal watchers thought it was a shocking announcement, they had the support of senior royals, including Prince Charles.

Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Prince Charles attend the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London
Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and Prince Charles | RICHARD POHLE/AFP via Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hoped to split their time

The Sussexes’ January announcement illuminated their plan to divide their time between the UK and North America, continuing their royal duties while living a more peaceful life out of the spotlight.

Ultimately, after Queen Elizabeth met with Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles, it was determined that the Sussexes would officially exit the royal family at the end of March.

They might not have gotten the arrangement they hoped for, but the queen shared her support in a statement released at the time. “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family. I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life,” the statement noted, in part.

Prince Charles supported Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The queen’s statement shared her support of the Sussexes’ wishes, even if she couldn’t grant them the arrangement they hoped for.

Royal expert Nigel Cawthorne told The Sun that Charles also “made an attempt to support” their desires, but “there wasn’t a lot he could do.”

“I think he [Prince Charles] likes strong women, but in The Firm there is only room for one queen,” Cawthorne explained. “I think he foresaw considerable problems ahead for The Firm. Harry and Meghan amplified the popularity of the royal family in the way that Prince Andrew and Fergie did at the time.”

Charles, the author claims, “genuinely made an attempt to support what Harry and Meghan were looking for as long as it wouldn’t upset other HRH’s.”

“In truth, however, there wasn’t a lot he could do apart from offering moral support,” Cawthorne continued. “He no doubt personally regrets the fact that he won’t see his son and family as much as he otherwise would have. He likes tradition and order.”


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Prince Charles reportedly offered financial support after Megxit

Though the queen and Prince Charles “refused to bend the rules” for Prince Harry and Meghan’s exit, Charles was reportedly a source of stability, offering to “help them financially,” royal author Tom Bower explained in an article for the Mail on Sunday.

Bower referenced claims made in the new book Finding Freedom, noting, “According to the authors, Charles had made it clear to Harry that he was very much part of the future for the royal family, despite calls for a ‘slimmed down monarchy’ with fewer senior working Royals.”

“For Meghan, however, I fear there is no return,” he added.

Prince Charles was ‘supporting and loving’

Meghan reportedly thought of Prince Charles as a “second father” to her, according to Finding Freedom’s authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand (via The Sun).

His “supportive and loving” regard for Meghan left her feeling “emotionally bruised” after Megxit, however.

“Meghan had her own reasons for admiring her father-in-law, who had poignantly walked her down the aisle when her own father let her down,” the authors explained.

Prince Charles had been won over by Meghan and “taken a real shine” to her, his friend explained to the book’s authors, adding, “She’s a sassy, confident, beautiful American.”

“He likes very strong, confident women,” the insider added. “She’s bright, and she’s self-aware, and I can see why they’ve struck up a very quick friendship.”