Prince Harry Reconciling with Royal Family Was One of Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Dearest Wishes’ – PEOPLE

Queen Elizabeth‘s hope never waned that strained relations could be relieved within the royal family.

In this week’s PEOPLE cover story, historian Robert Hardman says that the late monarch would have hoped that her grandson Prince Harry could repair his relationship with his father, King Charles III, and older brother, Prince William.

“The Queen adored Harry right to the end, and Harry adored her,” the author of Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II says of the special bond Harry and his grandmother shared. “I think she was one of the conduits between Windsor and California, and it would have been one of her dearest wishes that they patch things up.”

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Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, have become distant from other family members in recent years. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped back from their senior royal roles in early 2020 and have resided in Meghan’s home state of California since.

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Prince Harry, 38, and Meghan, 41, had been in Europe for a series of charity visits when Queen Elizabethpeacefully” died at age 96 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, hours after her doctors publicly announced they were “concerned” for her health. The California couple remained in the U.K. for the Queen’s funerary events for the following two weeks and traveled back to U.S. after the funeral.

Now, those close to the King and Queen Camilla hope, for the sake of the new reign if not salvaging family ties, that Prince William and Prince Harry will reconcile.

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“You’d think that all members of the family would unite and support the King, especially,” a source close to King Charles tells PEOPLE. “Perhaps some wounds can be healed in the process.” It would likely have been Queen Elizabeth‘s dying wish.

“She knew that conflicts were a part of life, and she didn’t hold grudges. Most of all, she wanted to see her family happy,” the insider adds.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
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Samantha Cohen, the Queen’s former assistant private secretary, attended Queen Elizabeth‘s committal service at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on Monday. She tells PEOPLE that the royals “looked tired” as the gravity of the grief finally hit.

“It was a shock, and now it’s real. And the real mourning starts,” Cohen says. “The reality of life without the Queen starts now.”

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