The Queen ‘adored Harry right to the end’ and would have wished for the family to ‘patch things up’, a royal historian has claimed.
Robert Hardman, author of Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II, believes that Her Majesty was ‘one of the conduits between Windsor and California’.
Speaking to PEOPLE Magazine, he expressed that it would have been one of the late monarch’s ‘dearest wishes’ to connect the rift within the family since Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping back from royal duties in 2020.
Relations between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other members of the Royal Family have been strained since Harry and Meghan moved to California shortly before the coronavirus pandemic.
Relations between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other members of the Royal Family have been strained since Harry and Meghan moved to California. Members of the family pictured last week
The Queen (pictured days before her death) ‘adored Harry right to the end’ and would have wished for the family to ‘patch things up’, a royal historian has claimed
The couple upped sticks and left Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate, where they had been living while in the UK, and now reside in a $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara with their children Archie, three and Lilibet, one.
The move caused a divide in the family as tensions arose within Harry’s relationship with his brother Prince William and father, now King Charles. The divide appeared to deepen when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not fly back to the UK in March to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey.
At the time, it was reported the Duke was concerned about security arrangements for his family in the UK.
Despite the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the family, there have been glimpses of a potential reconciliation following the Queen’s death.
On the Saturday after the monarch passed away, the Prince and Princess of Wales made their first public appearance outside the Windsor Estate to read tributes that had been left to Her late Majesty and to greet mourners.
In an unexpected appearance, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the couple as the ‘Fab Four’ were reunited in their grief.
The couple (pictured this month with Prince William and Kate Middleton) upped sticks and left Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate, where they had been living while in the UK
Her late Majesty passed away at Balmoral Castle on 8 September at the age of 96, at which point her eldest son Charles automatically became King
However, a source told PEOPLE the appearance was ‘awkward’ and both couples struggled.
‘They were in a stoic spirit of just getting through it for the Queen,’ the source said.
Mr Hardman’s claims come after an explosive new royal book claimed Her late Majesty was ‘hurt’ by Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave The Firm.
In an extract from the book, The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown, published in Vanity Fair, author Katie Nicholl quoted an unnamed source who said the Queen didn’t like to think about the Duke and Duchess’s decision to step down as senior royals.
The source told the author: ‘[The Queen] was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it anymore’.’
The source added it was of more regret to Her late Majesty that the Sussexes’ move meant she did not have the opportunity to see as much of Archie and Lilibet as she’d have liked.
Her late Majesty passed away at Balmoral Castle on 8 September at the age of 96, at which point her eldest son Charles automatically became King.
King Charles (pictured on Monday) also allowed Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, to wear his military uniform during a vigil last Saturday night
King Charles permitted Prince Harry (pictured), who served in Afghanistan, to wear his military uniform as he took part in a vigil on Saturday night in which he guarded the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall
The Princess of Wales, the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex walk to meet members of the public at Windsor Castle in Berkshire
As the monarch, the book claims Charles is keen to heal the rift between the family and his youngest son Harry, 38.
In his first televised address to the nation on 9 September, King Charles said: ‘I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.’
Some royal fans have claimed the mention of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was an ‘olive branch’ towards the couple, who happened to be visiting Europe when the Queen passed away.
King Charles also allowed Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, to wear his military uniform during a vigil last Saturday night along with the Queen’s other grandchildren, in which they guarded her coffin as it lay in state in Westminster Hall.
Despite the fact he is no longer a working royal, King Charles granted his youngest son permission to don the military uniform so he could pay his respects to his grandmother.
However, Nicholl’s book claims previous attempts have been made to smooth things over between the Sussexes and other royals over the last two years, which have somewhat fallen flat.
The book reported King Charles, who was then Prince of Wales, invited Harry and Meghan to tea just weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service, as the couple stopped off in the UK before heading to The Hague to attend an Invictus Games event.
However, an unnamed family friend told Nicholl the meeting was ‘awkward’ and only lasted for around 15 minutes after the Duke and Duchess were late to meet then-Prince Charles and then-Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla.
They claimed: ‘[Harry] actually suggested that they use a mediator to try and sort things out, which had Charles somewhat bemused and Camilla spluttering into her tea.’
They added the Queen Consort told the Duke his suggestion was ‘ridiculous’ and that they would resolve their differences within the family.