King Charles misses Prince Harry: They had a great relationship

Part of People Magazine’s cover story about QEII’s death-anniversary is about King Charles and how he’s dealing with one of the biggest issues facing his reign: his lack of control over his charismatic son and daughter-in-law, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The only similarity between Charles and his mother is their habitual ostrich-syndrome. Charles’s is worse though, because he dithers and he can’t even decide how to approach the Sussex issue. Instead of choosing the path of a loving father, he seems to be trying to convince everyone (and himself) that the Sussexes are merely a minor inconvenience, one which he can ignore forever. Even People Magazine’s “sources” can’t decide on a path of action for discussing Charles’s dogsh-t behavior towards his son.

King Charles’ fractured relationship with his son Prince Harry is certainly on his mind one year after Queen Elizabeth’s death. As the late monarch often brought her family together, Prince Harry’s rift with the royals seems wider than ever. Fissures within the family came to the fore when King Charles’ younger son and his wife, Meghan Markle, left the U.K. for the U.S. in 2020, and relations have remained strained since.

“I’m sure [the King] misses him. Harry is entertaining, warm and very loving as well. And they had a great relationship,” a source close to the royal household tells PEOPLE in this week’s exclusive cover story. King Charles “leans toward the compassionate rather than the disciplinarian style of family leadership,” adds royal biographer and Queen of Our Times author Robert Hardman, implying hope for the future.

If he’s looking for a way forward, the King, 74, could examine the way his mother negotiated public scandals, political upheavals and family drama during her history-making 70-year reign.

“[The Queen] managed to navigate these choppy waters, and that’s why she was always admired and loved — because she got the family through,” says the source close to the royal household. “[Charles] will have to show that he can do that.”

Queen Elizabeth was “especially important [to Harry],” a friend tells PEOPLE, and the anniversary of her death will surely be top of mind on Friday.

In matters both personal and professional, “there is an enormous loss,” says a source close to the royal household, “as [the Queen] played a very important part in all of their lives. But I’m impressed at how smoothly things are moving forward given all the little hiccups that there are in the background.”

The biggest “hiccup” of all, of course, has been the ongoing estrangement of Harry and Meghan from the rest of the royal family. Queen Elizabeth — despite being someone with whom Harry had “his own rapport,” as Hardman puts it — was tough with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when she felt she had to be, ruling they couldn’t be half in, half out of the royal family as they’d hoped. When it comes to the royal way of doing things, “There’s no [hemming] and hawing,” Hardman tells PEOPLE. “It’s like, ‘Here are your options, and can we have an answer by Friday?’ ”

[From People]

QEII “managed to navigate these choppy waters, and that’s why she was always admired and loved — because she got the family through… [Charles] will have to show that he can do that.” Because Charles hasn’t shown that he can navigate his way out of a wet paper bag. Charles can’t negotiate intra-family disputes and that alone speaks volumes about his sh-tty leadership skills in a larger sense. Any “top CEO,” any skilled manager worth a damn, would have found a way to cauterize this PR bleed after three and a half years. It’s not even about fully reconciling with Harry and Meghan (although Charles should at least try to do that) – it’s about taking a public position (as QEII did) that the Sussexes are much-loved family members, that they are always welcome in the UK, that Charles would love to see his grandchildren. Instead, he evicted them from their UK home out of spite and he openly briefs against them still. You can’t be a skilled manager AND an open sadist.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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