Harry’s chats with Charles and William ‘not productive’, says friend

Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent
·4-min read

The royal family have taken their first steps towards a reconciliation with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – but a friend of Meghan claimed initial talks were “not productive”.

US breakfast show host Gayle King said she had called the Sussexes and was told Harry had spoken to his father, the Prince of Wales, and brother the Duke of Cambridge – but no-one has yet spoken to Meghan.

King suggested that despite the conversations not bearing fruit, the Sussexes were “glad” dialogue had started and the couple wanted “healing” within the royal family.

Former US first lady Michelle Obama has spoken about the couple raising the issue of racism, saying it was not a “complete surprise” to hear Meghan bring up the topic.

After the Sussexes bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Queen said in a statement that the issues raised, including race, would be “addressed by the family privately”.

The couple had accused an unnamed royal, not the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh, of raising concerns about how dark their son Archie’s skin tone would be, before he was born.

Meghan revealed she asked for help when she was suicidal, but said the institution gave her no support.

King said on CBS This Morning: “I’m not trying to break news, but I did actually call them to see how they were feeling and it’s true Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too.

Breakfast host Gayle King
Breakfast show host Gayle King is friends with Meghan (Ian West/PA)

“The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive but they are glad that they have at least started a conversation.

“And I think what is still upsetting to them is that the palace keeps saying they want to work it out privately, but yet they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan still – no one in the royal family has talked to Meghan yet at this particular time.”

The breakfast show host’s comments on the first round of talks between the royals are unlikely to be welcomed by royal aides as the Queen’s statement not only acknowledged that the issues raised by the Sussexes would be taken seriously but they would be dealt with behind closed doors.

Harry described his brother and father as being “trapped” within the institution of the monarchy during the interview adding: “They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”

Before the talks, William had been questioned about his brother and indicated he would be speaking to Harry.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Charles was asked about his son during a visit to a pop-up Covid vaccine clinic at a London mosque on Tuesday but did not reply.

King went on to say: “I think it’s frustrating for them to see that it’s a racial conversation about the royal family when all they wanted all along was for the royals to intervene and tell the press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant.

“Until you can acknowledge that, I think it’s going to be hard to move forward.”

King, who was among Meghan’s closest friends invited to her 2019 baby shower in New York, added: “They both want to move forward with this and they both want healing in this family. At the end of the day, that is Harry’s family.”

She defended her friend Meghan against the bullying accusations made by former staff of the Sussexes saying: “Anyone who’s worked with her will tell you exactly who she is, she’s really a sweet caring person.

Prince Harry visit to the United States – Day One
Michelle Obama and the Duke of Sussex have been friends for a number of years (John Stillwell/PA)

“As I say, Meghan has documents to back up everything that she said on Oprah’s interview. Everything.”

Mrs Obama was asked about the duchess as she launched a campaign to provide meals for disadvantaged families.

Commenting on the issue of racism raised by Meghan, she told NBC’s Today show: “As I said before, race isn’t a new construct in this world for people of colour, and so it wasn’t a complete surprise to hear her feelings and to have them articulated.”

Mrs Obama, who has known Harry for a number of years, said about being a public figure: “Public service is a bright, sharp, hot, spotlight and most people don’t understand it, and nor should they.

“The thing that I always keep in mind is that none of this is about us in public service, it’s about the people that we serve.”