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Inside Prince Harry and Queen Camilla's complicated relationship through the years

The Duke of Sussex lifted the lid on his family dynamics in his explosive book, Spare

Prince Harry and Queen Camilla
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
Updated: 12 hours ago
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Over the years, Prince Harry's strained relationship with the royal family has been a talking point for many. 

Following his wife Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, the release of their Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, and his explosive memoir Spare, royal watchers have been given their side of the story which shows how deep-rooted the tensions are between the families. 

King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Harry and Meghan at Queen Elizabetth II's funeral© Getty
Queen Camilla and Prince Harry's relationship has been strained over the years

Back in January 2023, the world got an extremely insight into the friction when Harry released his. One of the biggest revelations was how critical Prince Harry is of his stepmother, Queen Camilla

During one of his televised interviews on CBS with Anderson Cooper, the Duke explained: "She was the third person in their marriage. She needed to rehabilitate her image."

In the book, it was detailed how Harry and his brother Prince William had asked their father, King Charles, not to marry the now-Queen Consort. "We didn't think it was necessary. We thought it would do more harm than good," he revealed on CBS. "Why go that far when you don't necessarily need to? We wanted him to be happy. And we saw how happy he was with her. So, at the time, it was, 'OK.'" 

The American journalist then probed: "You wrote that she started a campaign in the British press to pave the way for a marriage. And you wrote, 'I even wanted Camilla to be happy. Maybe she'd be less dangerous if she was happy.' How was she dangerous?" To which, Harry replied: "Because of the need for her to rehabilitate her image. That made her dangerous because of the connections that she was forging within the British press. And there was open willingness on both sides to trade information. 

"And with a family built on hierarchy, and with her on the way to being queen consort, there was going to be people or bodies left in the street because of that." In the memoir, the Duke also wrote that Camilla "sacrificed me on her personal PR altar". 

Here we take a look back at some of the moments Prince Harry has shared with his stepmother, Queen Camilla. In 2005, both Prince Harry and Prince William were among the party who attended Charles' wedding to Camilla in April 2005 – the private civil ceremony took place at Windsor's Guildhall.

The Queen attended Charles and Camilla's marriage blessing© Getty
The first family picture of Harry and William with Camilla on her wedding day in 2005

Photos from the day show the royal brothers happily posing with the then-newlyweds and Camilla's two children from her previous marriage, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes.

Following their nuptials, during an interview for his 21st birthday in September of that year, Harry expressed his gratitude and claimed that both he and William "love her to bits".

prince harry kisses camilla© Photo: Getty Images
Prince Harry seen kissing Camilla's cheek at they attended a Service of Thanksgiving in 2008

"She's a wonderful woman and she's made our father very, very happy, which is the most important thing," he said, adding: "Look at the position she's come into. Don't always feel sorry for me and William, feel sorry for her. We are grateful for her… we're very happy to have her around."

harry camilla talking at trooping
Harry and Camilla on the Buckingham Palace balcony during Trooping the Colour in 2012

He then joked: "To be honest, she's always been very close to me and William. But no, she's not the wicked stepmother, I'll say that right now."

harry camilla laughing© Photo: Getty Images
The Duke seen making Camilla and Kate laugh back in 2013

Over the years that followed, Prince Harry and Queen Consort Camilla were pictured together at various events including Trooping the Colour, family gatherings, Royal Ascot and the Jubilee celebrations for the late Queen.

harry trooping carriage camilla kate© Photo: Getty Images
Harry, Camilla and Kate all smile and wave at crowds during Trooping in 2017

Just days after Harry and Meghan's royal wedding in May 2018, the newlyweds joined then Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to celebrate Charles' 70th birthday on the grounds of Buckingham Palace. The two couples happily spoke to each other, showing their close bond to the world.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's first Christmas© Getty
Meghan's first Christmas with the royals in 2017

The birthday party marked the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first joint engagement as a married couple, and the Duchess' first as a member of the royal family.

charles camilla meghan markle birthday© Photo: Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's first joint engagement as a married couple

Harry even gave a speech in tribute to his father, saying: "In my mind, this event sums up your approach to work. I know you really didn't want today to be about you, and would far rather the focus be on the people and all the organisations represented here. I know that in your mind you see the opportunity of bringing everyone together as a chance to thank them for all the amazing work.

commonwealth service harry meghan 1z© Photo: Getty Images
The royals seen together shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step down

"It is your selfless drive to affect change - whether that is to improve the lives of those who are on the wrong path, to save an important piece of our natural heritage, or to protect a particular species under threat – with which William and I draw inspiration from every day."

King Charles, Queen Camilla, Prince Harry and Meghan at Queen Elizabetth II's funeral© Getty
King Charles, Queen Camilla and Prince Harry at Queen Elizabetth II's funeral

Shortly after the late Queen Elizabeth II died in September, Prince Harry and his wife Meghan joined the royal family for the State Funeral.

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