Prince Harry joined Meghan Markle for the second half of their Oprah interview, and the prince spoke candidly about how their decision to step back from their senior royal family roles affected his relationship with his father, the future king Prince Charles. Charles stopped taking Harry’s calls, Harry revealed.
Harry revealed the Queen wasn’t blindsided by his and Meghan’s decision last January to step back from being working royals. They had three phone conversations. He spoke with his father too…until Charles stopped picking up.
“You just said your dad stopped taking your calls,” Oprah said. “Why?”
“Because I took matters into my own hands,” Harry said. “It was like I need to do this for my family. This is not a surprise to anybody; it’s really sad that it’s got to this point, but I’ve got to do something for my own mental health, for my wife’s, because I could see where this is headed.”
Harry said everything changed after the couple’s tour of Australia and New Zealand: “My grandmother has been amazing throughout. My father, brother, kate and all the rest of the family—they were they were really welcoming. But it really changed after our Australia tour. it was also the first time that the family got to see how incredible she is at the job. And that brought back memories.”
Harry explained to Oprah that he had a deep fear of his family suffering the same fate his mother Princess Diana did—and on a worse level, because of the racism and social media.
“When I’m talking about history repeating itself, I’m talking about my mother,” he said. “When you can see something happening in the same kind of way…to receive no help at all and to be told continuously this is how it is, this is just how it is. We’ve all been through it. This union, us, me having a girlfriend was going to be a thing…just the two of us to start with. I hadn’t really thought about the mixed-race piece because I thought, well, I’ve spent many years doing the work and doing my own learning…my god it doesn’t take you very long until you became aware of it. It takes living in her shoes in this instance for a day or those first eight days to see where it was gonna go and how far they were gonna take it and get away with it and be so blatant about it. We’re talking about the U.K. press here. And the U.K. is my home; that was where I was brought up. I’ve got my own relationship with the media. I asked for calm with the British tabloids: once as a boyfriend, once as a husband, and once as a father.”
That didn’t work, and so the couple decided to step back.
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