Charles’ ‘great problem’: King torn between love for Harry and ‘hurt’ Camilla

When King Charles celebrated his 75th birthday last week, he not only enjoyed an intimate dinner at Clarence House, but was reportedly sent a recorded video message from Harry and Meghan’s children, Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two.

It's thought that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had reportedly made what could be seen as a first attempt at reconciliation by phoning the King to wish him a happy birthday – marking their first conversation in six months.

Prince Harry, 39, and his wife Meghan, 42, who now live in Montecito, California, previously said they had “no contact” from Buckingham Palace regarding an invitation to the evening birthday event, but put any bad feeling aside to wish King Charles well on his special day.

The olive-branch call was said to be “friendly and cordial”, according to a source, and despite relations between the King and his son being strained, it's understood that he would never let that get in the way of having a relationship with his US-based grandchildren.

“It really hit home how he should try to work through this for the children’s sake. Charles knows he doesn’t have many more birthdays or Christmases left and wants to try to repair the rift so that his grandchildren will be a part of the family like everyone else,” the source said.

However, the insider went on to claim that Harry’s strained relationship still continues with other senior members of the royal family, and Prince William and Queen Camilla in particular could prove to be obstacles in the road to reconciliation.

“There is virtually no chance of mending the damage between his two sons,” the source continues. “The Queen is also still very deeply hurt by the comments made about her and that’s another obstacle for Charles to overcome.”

Harry’s rift with his family seemingly reached breaking point earlier this year following the release of his memoir, Spare, where he wrote that he used to fear that Queen Camilla would be a “wicked stepmother”, calling her “the other woman”.

Royal expert Tom Bower believes that the King wants nothing more than to make amends with Harry.

He explained, “For Charles, the whole thing has been painful and traumatic. The problem is that Harry and Meghan have caused so much damage, it’s hard to imagine how to repair it. But I’m sure that the King would like a solution.

"Charles has not only got William and Kate [to think of], but he’s also got Camilla, who was very insulted by Harry and Meghan too, so that makes it a great problem for him.”

It’s thought that Harry and Charles last spoke to each other in April, shortly before the King's Coronation the following month. Though Harry hasn’t seen his father since the historic day, he has visited the UK several times including in September, when he attended an awards ceremony organised by children’s charity WellChild.

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