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Prince Harry opens up on the status of his relationship with his family

The prince said he has felt let down by his father, Prince Charles.
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/ Source: TODAY

After the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in 2020 that they would be stepping back from royal duties, headlines swirled around what the relationship was like between the couple and the rest of the royal family. Prince Harry set the record straight during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired Sunday night.

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The short answer: It’s complicated. He shed some light on what it’s like between him and his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, his father, Prince Charles, and his brother, Prince William.

Queen Elizabeth

Max Mumby / Getty Images

“I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have in many, many years,” the prince told Winfrey, adding that they’ve done Zoom calls and that she’s been able to see Harry and Meghan's son, Archie, through those.

“My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and understanding. I have deep respect for her.”

Prince Charles

Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

His relationship with his father is not on the same terms right now. Harry said earlier in the interview that there was a point before he and Meghan announced they would be stepping back from being senior royals that his dad stopped taking his calls. While they are now on speaking terms, there is still a lot of pain to work through.

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“I feel really let down because he’s been through something similar,” Harry told Winfrey, most likely referring to the famously tumultuous marriage Charles had with Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana. “He knows what pain feels like and Archie’s his grandson. But at the same time, of course I will always love him. There’s a lot of hurt that’s happened and I will continue to make it one of my priorities to try and heal that relationship but they only know what they know or what they’re told.”

The duke also told Winfrey that he can’t imagine how difficult royal life must have been for his mother, who died in 1997 when a car she was in crashed after being chased by the paparazzi.

“I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself, all those years ago, because it has been unbelievably tough for the two of us, but at least we have each other."

Prince William

Phil Harris / WPA Pool via Getty Images

As for the relationship between Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, who is second in line for the throne, the duke said that while he loves his brother, they’re leading different lives now.

“I love William to bits," he said. "He’s my brother and we’ve been through hell together. We have a shared experience. But we walk different paths.”

Later, when Winfrey pressed him on the subject of his relationship with his brother, he said, "The relationship is space... at the moment. Time heals all things, hopefully."