Queen Elizabeth II was the reigning monarch for 70 years before her death in 2022. While she was queen, she often followed strict royal protocol and etiquette rules, even going so far as to be the likely reason King Charles couldn’t immediately marry Camilla Parker Bowles (Camilla reportedly wasn’t seen as good enough for Charles).
It turns out there were a number of beliefs the queen held, including the idea that there was no such thing as a “part-time” royal — which is why Charles and Prince William reportedly are having such a hard time letting Harry back into the family.
Queen Elizabeth reportedly ‘hated the idea’ of a ‘part-time royal’
When the queen was the reigning monarch, all of the rules she believed in were strictly followed. And according to one royal expert, the queen did not like the idea of anyone being a part-time royal; while she allowed Harry and Meghan to leave the royal family, she perhaps didn’t think there would ever come a day where Harry wanted to become a member of the royal family in some capacity, but not all.
Royal author Tom Quinn told Express that he doesn’t believe Charles and William will ever allow Harry to pick and choose royal events he attends (outside of the massive ones, of course, such a coronation). “The whole emphasis between King Charles and Prince William is that you cannot go against the late Queen’s firm belief that you can’t be a part-time royal,” Quinn said. “You can’t hobnob with celebrities in America for six months and then come back here and pick and choose which events you want to be part of. It is untenable.”
It seems that, should Harry and Meghan decide they want to once again be royals in some capacity, Charles won’t let it happen. “I don’t think Charles and William will agree to that simply because Elizabeth hated the idea,” Quinn said.
Does Prince Harry even want to return to the royal family?
This is the million-dollar question. Harry and Meghan left the royal family back in 2020, and there isn’t much pointing to the idea that Harry wants to return except maybe some swirling rumors.
Harry did come back to the UK for Charles’ coronation ceremony, but he was hardly noticed throughout the day. And when Harry and Meghan returned for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June 2022, they were not on the balcony with the rest of the royals.
The latter situation could be what Charles and William mean when they say Harry can’t be a “part-time” royal. Perhaps Harry and Meghan are still welcome to attend royal events, but they won’t be considered working royals where it counts, such as those long-awaited balcony appearances. As of right now, Harry doesn’t seem to have made much of an attempt to get back into the royal family, so it’s unclear what all the fuss is about.
It seems Charles does love his son and would allow Harry to be a more prominent member if he wanted to be, but it’s impossible to say at the moment.