Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal exit ‘brought William and Charles closer’

Prince Charles ignores question about Prince Andrew

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Royal author Phil Dampier believes Prince Charles and Prince William’s roles and relationships have been influenced by two major external factors. The death of the Duke of Edinburgh in April last year caused the Queen to rely more on her firstborn and grandson’s advice when it comes to crucial royal issues, Mr Dampier claims.

Similarly, the exit as full-time working members of the Royal Family of Meghan and Harry and the fallout caused by their bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 helped cement the bond between the future King and his heir, Mr Dampier said.

Referring to Prince Andrew’s recent loss of royal patronages and honorary military titles, the author told the Telegraph: “Increasingly, Prince Charles and Prince William are working hand in glove and being consulted by the Queen on every major decision.

“There’s no doubt they will have made their views clear to the Queen over the Andrew situation.”

The death of Prince Philip marked an immense loss for the Queen, who lost not just her beloved husband but also her closer advisor, Mr Dampier noted, leaving the 95-year-old monarch to turn to Charles and William. 

Mr Dampier said: “In the past, she would have spoken at length to Prince Philip about such matters, but now she has lost her husband, and with both her son and grandson taking over more and more duties, it’s no surprise that she is more reliant on their advice.

“They are more influential than they’ve ever been.”

The expert then spoke about the Sussexes’ exit as senior royals at the end of March 2020.

He said: “If anything, the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – and the fact that William has fallen out with Harry – has brought him and Charles closer.” 

In recent months, father and son appear to have seen more of each other and collaborated closely on key issues, helping to strengthen a synergy also among the three royal households – Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace and Clarence House.

Mr Dampier said: “Following his father’s death, Charles is now spending a lot more time at Sandringham, the Queen’s Norfolk home, where he has taken over a lot of Prince Philip’s duties.

“The Cambridges spend most weekends at Anmer Hall, their country pile up there, which means father and son are now seeing a lot more of each other.

“They have also undoubtedly bonded over the fallout of the Oprah Winfrey interview.” 

Prince Charles and Prince William took part alongside the Queen and Prince Harry in the key meeting held in Sandringham in January 2020 during which the terms of the Sussexes’ exit as senior royals were thrashed.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge were reportedly involved in drafting the Queen’s statement released two days after the Sussexes’ interview with Ms Winfrey was first aired in the US.

And, as Mr Dampier said, they are believed to have also played a role in the decision surrounding Prince Andrew’s honours and patronages after a US judge denied on Wednesday throwing out the legal case launched against the Duke of York by Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts.

Mr Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew who, she claims, has “committed sexual assault and battery” upon her when she was a teenager. 

She alleges she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell in August 2019, to have sex with the Duke when she was 17.

The Duke has firmly and repeatedly denied the allegations against him.

During his now-notorious Newsnight interview in November 2019, he stated he has no recollection of meeting Ms Giuffre. 

Buckingham Palace announced on Thursday the Duke of York was stripped of his royal and military patronages.

The statement read: “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

Royal sources also said the Duke retains his HRH style, but won’t use it anymore in any official capacity.     

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