Robert Hardman, author of the new book "The Making of a King: Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, is talking to PEOPLE about some of the key claims
When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their desire to step back from royal duties, they proposed a scenario where they would combine public duties with their work outside the royal family. As negotiations continued over the couple’s future, Harry's father, Charles, 75, and grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, stood firm. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex had to fully commit when it came to being working royals.
“Harry and Meghan's departure brought Charles and his mother closer together,” Robert Hardman, author of the new book The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, tells PEOPLE.
The shocking revelations made by Harry and Meghan during their Oprah Winfrey interview the following year presented a further challenge for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. The candid discussion laid bare the couple's grievances and allegations about their experiences within the working royal family, sparking a public and media frenzy.
“I don't think anything could really trump the sort of sense of shock felt by the Oprah Winfrey interview — that was huge,” Hardman says.
Following the Oprah interview, the couple also released a revealing Netflix documentary and Harry published his bombshell memoir, Spare, which detailed his strained relationship with various members of the royal family, including his brother Prince William.
The author, who has spoken to many past and present royal aides and friends of the King for his book, says there was "sadness" for Charles at the time, but that he remained "pragmatic."
Hardman says, “There was a sort of weary resignation, but also a sense that ‘look, I’ve got so much to worry about now that I don't have the luxury of dwelling on this.' If that's what they want to do. I mean there's, there's only so much I as a father can do. And the door is always open.”
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Hardman adds that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departure is a loss for the monarchy, saying there is the “occasional wistful thought" at the palace "of if they were still part of the team and of all the things they could have done and could now be doing."
He adds, “There is no question that Harry and Meghan are a great loss to the institution, and that is still appreciated and understood. There's absolutely no sense of good riddance or anything like that. It's fundamentally a source of deep regret.”
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