King sees hope for relationship with Duke and Duchess of Sussex

King Charles is hoping for a thawing of his relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - DAVID ROSE /AFP
King Charles is hoping for a thawing of his relationship with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - DAVID ROSE /AFP

The King saw "tremendous flickers of hope" in his recent interactions with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, sources have revealed, raising the prospect of a rapprochement.

The monarch is said to have been buoyed by the various conversations held with his son and daughter-in-law as the family united in grief following the late Queen’s death.

“It remains the case that the King loves both of his children,” a royal insider said.

“Over the last 16 days or so, there were tremendous flickers of hope. In terms of the future, there is hope of a cause for unity.”

It is not known how much time, if any, the King spent alone with his younger son over the past fortnight but he appears determined to cast the current status of their relationship in a positive light.


How to deal with Harry and Meghan will be one of the issues at the forefront of his mind as he approaches the first few months of his reign, aware that any salvo fired from California will be hugely damaging.

At a time when Buckingham Palace is keen to convey a sense of continuity and stability, the Sussexes remain an unpredictable force.

While the King's reference to the couple in his televised address was viewed as an “olive branch” by some, others suggested it was little more than a PR move.

The Duke and Duchess found themselves at the heart of various dramas in the run-up to the late Queen's funeral, involving an apparent about-turn over the Duke’s right to wear military uniform and an invitation sent in error to a state reception at Buckingham Palace.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex seen here behind the King and Queen Consort at the funeral of the late Queen - TOBY MELVILLE /REUTERS
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex seen here behind the King and Queen Consort at the funeral of the late Queen - TOBY MELVILLE /REUTERS

The sequence of events that unfolded in the immediate aftermath of the late Queen’s death also appeared to indicate the extent of the gulf that exists between Prince Harry and his family.

After travelling to Balmoral alone, several hours behind other senior royals, sources close to the Duke now claim he was not told of his grandmother’s death before the public announcement was published online, forced instead to find out from news reports.

Buckingham Palace has maintained that he was contacted, albeit minutes before the statement was released by the King shortly before Harry’s plane landed in Aberdeen.

Either way, there is little doubt that for the Sussexes, the experience left a sour taste.

Although the publication of Prince Harry’s memoir has been delayed, the prospect of further criticism of the Royal family is almost inevitable. Meanwhile, his legal battle with the Home Office over security rumbles on.

One of the decisions the King will have to make sooner rather than later is whether to allow his two youngest grandchildren, Lilibet, one and Archie, three, to use their new titles of prince and princess.

The Duke and Duchess are said to be concerned that the King may remove the right to use the titles from their children after the Royal family’s website was not updated to include their new status after the Queen’s death.

With the official period of royal mourning now ended, the King will be looking ahead to the coming months, aware that every move will set the tone for his reign.

With no public engagements in the diary, both he and the Queen Consort are expected to remain in Scotland this week as they continue to adjust to their new roles.

For the King, that means ploughing through his daily red boxes and also dealing with the “phenomenal” amount of correspondence, both personal and official, that has flooded in since the Queen’s death.

He will likely hold his third audience with Liz Truss, which is likely to be virtual unless the Prime Minister travels to Scotland.

Protocol dictates that following a period of royal mourning, official duties are gradually phased in as appropriate.

The King is expected to make his first state visit to France in the coming weeks, using the diplomatic power of the monarchy to build bridges with leading European neighbours post Brexit.

The King, who has spent decades drawing attention to climate change, will use the visit to highlight a scheme to plant millions of trees in Africa.

There have been no state visits abroad for seven years because of the late Queen's restricted ability to travel.

The Prince and Princess of Wales are meanwhile going to visit the nation for the first time since taking up their new titles.

William and Kate will journey the length of Wales on Tuesday, first visiting Holyhead in Anglesey, North Wales, and then travelling to Swansea in South West Wales.