The Prince of Wales had a “very emotional” first meeting with his granddaughter Lili and a special reunion with grandson Archie during the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s trip to the UK, a royal source has said.
Heir to throne Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were “absolutely thrilled” to see Harry and Meghan and their children when they traveled briefly from California for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations earlier this month.
Harry, who quit as a senior working royal in 2020, has had a troubled relationship with Charles, telling how he felt let down and how his father stopped taking his calls at one stage.
The Sussexes left the monarchy in crisis after using an interview with Oprah Winfrey to accuse an unnamed royal of being racist towards their son before he was born, and the wider institution of failing to help Meghan when she had suicidal thoughts.
But a senior royal source, at the briefing of Clarence House’s annual review, said it had been “wonderful” to have the Sussexes back in the UK at the start of June.
“It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain,” the source said.
“The prince and the duchess were absolutely thrilled to see them.
“The prince, of course, hasn’t seen his grandson Archie for a bit of time and so it was very, very, very special to have some time with him.
“He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.”
Lili had her first birthday during her stay and also met her namesake great-grandmother, the Queen, for the first time.
Harry and Meghan appeared at the jubilee service of thanksgiving in St Paul’s Cathedral but sat far across the aisle from Charles and the Cambridges, and did not take part in any other public jubilee festivities.
The royal source said of the Sussexes’ financial independence: “Great credit to them. They said they wanted to transition to financial independence and that has now been achieved.”
Harry and Meghan secured multimillion-pound deals with Netflix and Spotify after moving to the US.
Charles’s bill for the activities of William and Harry and their families, and other costs including capital expenditure and transfer to reserves, has dropped by £1.2 million over two years, with the Sussexes no longer listed in the accounts.
The amount fell from £5.61 million in 2019-20 when the Sussexes were still working royals to £4.38 million in 2021-22 when Charles is no longer funding the couple.
It has not been detailed what proportion of this related to the Sussexes.
Charles had carried on supporting the duke and duchess with a “substantial sum” until summer 2020 following “Megxit”, despite Harry claiming his family “literally cut me off financially”.
This year’s accounts showed the heir to the throne’s annual private income from the Duchy of Cornwall was £23 million.
It increased by £2.6 million or nearly 13% from £20.4 million in 2020-21 as the Duchy’s profits rebounded after the pandemic.
As heir to the throne, Charles is entitled to the surplus generated by the Duchy’s vast portfolio of land, buildings and financial investments.
Charles spent £3.3 million – a quarter of a million more than last year – on non-official expenditure for himself and his family, including salary costs of personal staff and a proportion of costs of gardeners and estate workers and the cost of Highgrove in Gloucestershire and Birkhall on the Balmoral estate.
Official costs of Charles’s London office and official residence Clarence House came to £107,000, while his official travel by air and rail was £892,000 – with both amounts funded by the taxpayer through the Sovereign Grant.
Charles and Camilla’s official travel costs rose by £640,000 with overseas royal tours getting under way again as Covid restrictions eased.
The prince paid nearly £5.9 million in tax.
The private Duchy of Cornwall landed estate was created in 1337 by Edward III to support his son and heir Prince Edward, known as the Black Prince, and all his subsequent heirs.
It extends across 23 counties in England and Wales and includes the Oval cricket ground and 67,000 acres of Dartmoor.