"It's not a straightforward father-son relationship," a source said about Prince Charles' relationship with his sons.
After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, they left the British royal family rattled by the revelations they made during the sit-down with the famous talk show host.
During the interview, Prince Harry spoke about how things are going with his family members and mentioned that there's "a lot of hurt" that took place in his relationship with Prince Charles. At one point, his father had even stopped picking up his calls after he and his wife decided to take a step back from their royal lives. However, the events that have been taking place since the Sussex couple moved out of the UK might have aggravated a wound that was already opened years ago.
Prince Charles has always had a complicated relationship with Prince Harry as well as his older son, Prince William. More than being a father to them, the heir to the British throne was more like a "boss" to the two princes, according to a palace source.
"There has always been this complicated relationship with their dad," the source told People. "...It's not a straightforward father-son relationship."
While the two princes were growing up, they would often see their father tied to his desk and consumed by work most of the time. "When we were kids, there were bags and bags and bags of work that the office just sent to him. We could barely even get to his desk to say goodnight to him," Prince William said in a documentary, Prince, Son & Heir: Charles at 70, according to ET.
Writer Penny Junor also told the Daily Beast that Prince Charles' relationship with Prince Harry wasn't as close "as it could be."
"It is a slightly tricky relationship, because Charles has always been quite a remote figure, he has always been consumed by work," said Junor, who has authored several biographies on the royals. "Even after Diana died, he still worked his socks off. He made sure they were well looked after, but they are not as close as they might have been."
The author added, "That’s not a product of a lack of love. It’s a product of the fact he is so focused on his work."
One of the reasons for the strain on Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship with their father is his control over their finances. "He is their father and their boss, and they are beholden to him to fund their offices and lives," said the source that spoke to People.
It was reported that Prince Charles funds his own office as well as that of Prince William and Kate Middleton's through the income from the Duchy of Cornwall estate. In the past, a portion of the income was also earmarked to fund Prince Harry and Markle's office as well, but in his interview with Oprah, the Duke of Sussex revealed that he was cut off financially when they left the UK.
"My family literally cut me off financially" in early 2020, Prince Harry revealed, adding that he survived on the money Princess Diana left him. With the money he inherited from his mother, Prince Harry was able to do what was best for his family and remove them from an environment that was difficult for them.
Now, the Sussex couple has made America their new home, and it wouldn't have been possible without the money Princess Diana set aside for him.
"Without that, we wouldn't have been able to do this," Prince Harry said.
Speaking about the current state of his relationship with Prince Charles, Prince Harry said there were some things that made him feel "let down" by his father.
"I feel really let down because he's been through something similar, he knows what pain feels like and Archie's his grandson," he said, as quoted by BCC. "But at the same time, of course I will always love him but 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."
Cover image source: Getty Images | Photo by Tim Rooke - Pool