Now that Harry and his family have moved to Los Angeles to begin a new chapter, he and William are beginning to drift toward one another again, royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight.
“There have been clearly some quite major rifts in that relationship, but things have got better and I know that William and Harry are in touch on the phone,” Nicholl said to the outlet “They have done video calls together, they have done a lot of family birthdays and I think with Prince Charles not being well, that really forced the brothers to pick up the phone and get back in touch.”
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. (Photo by Paul Grover- WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Harry and William’s father Charles, 71, recently fought off coronavirus, and between that health scare and Harry feeling homesick after his move, the royals felt it was the “right time” to reconnect, Nicoll told ET. Similarly, the tension between Markle, 38, and William’s wife Kate Middleton has simmered down.
“I think there is a sense of relief on both sides that this high drama is now a thing of the past,” Nicholl said. “The Sussexes are free to get on with their new lives [and] the Cambridges can get back to their old lives without all the upset and drama that was clearly a big deal behind the scenes. I think Kate and William miss Harry and Meghan to a degree, but certainly they miss Harry [being] around and part of their lives.”
Nicholl told ET that the royal clan likely reunited — albeit virtually — to celebrate the first birthday of Archie, Harry and Markle’s son.
“I am quite sure there would have been communication between the Cambridges and the Prince of Wales and I am told Harry picks up the phone regularly to his grandmother, the queen,” the expert noted. “They had that same call on her birthday. I’m sure there was a Zoom birthday call for Archie, too.”
Now that they’ve carved out a new life for themselves in Los Angeles, Nicholl said they’re enjoying themselves.
Princes Harry (left) and William are rumored to face tension between themselves.
“They’ve settled into their lives in L.A. and this is the pathway for the future,” she said the outlet. “I’m told they feel a great sense of freedom and they’re really enjoying their new lives and [doing] things a bit more on their terms.”
Nicholl also said that for Harry, continuing the charity work he was rumored to have left behind has been helpful in combatting his homesickness.
“The idea that they would just go over to America and forget about these charities and organizations — particularly in Harry’s case [when] they’ve been a part of his life for so long — that’s absolutely not the case,” the expert told ET. “Harry keeps in touch with them regularly. He probably misses some of the people that he works with. He’s been patron of charities like WellChild for many, many years [so] he’s forged close friendships there, so yes — he’s missing his friends and picking up the phone for them.”
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, travel has been limited, so Harry and Meghan have become very well acquainted with video chatting and the like, which Nicholl said will be helpful to them in the future.
“[For] Meghan and Harry, this will be the way of the future,” she said. “They will not be jumping on a plane all the time to come to Britain. COVID has given them the opportunity to road test a way of working. These conference calls [are] a way for them to communicate and touch base with people back at home. I think COVID-19 has fast-tracked what was always going to be a future way of working for them, being so far away from many of their charities.”
The global pandemic hasn’t just affected Harry and Meghan’s work, however, but the entire royal family, with rumors circulating that Queen Elizabeth II will postpone her return from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace for the summer.
“That doesn’t mean we’re not going to see the queen carrying out duties that we’re used to at some point in the future,” Nicholl told ET. “It’s certainly her intention to continue working as much as she possibly can, but of course, no one knows how this pandemic is going to play out.”
Nicholl noted that the royals have been intentionally “letting their guard down” during the pandemic, allowing the public to see their home lives more than normal, with Prince William even participating in a comedy sketch on television.
“We are a nation in the middle of a crisis and it’s times like this we turn to the royal family for support, comfort and hope,” the expert told ET. “And, I think the Cambridges have really stepped up to the plate providing a nice dose of entertainment for us, and of course [it’s] a real treat for royal fans seeing so much of the Cambridge children.”
Nicholl said that “it’s uplifting” for people to be able to “see what the future of the royal family is going to look like” in getting more sneak peeks at the royal kiddos.
“The royal family has gone to great lengths not to be seen to be aloof or distant or unrelatable,” she said. “The queen is very aware that the role of the royal family during a national crisis like this is to be seen, to be able to support her people, and she’s having to do this through a digital platform and it’s quite incredible that at the age of 94, she’s embracing that.”