Why Charles and Harry’s birthday phonecall is a 'turning point' for their relationship

Is a reconciliation is on the cards?

Prince Harry King Charles Prince William
(Image credit: Max Mumby / Indigo / Getty)

King Charles and Prince Harry's relationship breakdown has been well documented in the press, with the father and son reportedly on frosty terms since Harry stepped down from his royal duties in 2020. 

But the King's 75th birthday may just be a turning point for the pair after reports have circulated that Prince Harry surprised his dad with a phone call to mark his special day, in which the King chatted to both Harry and Meghan for the first time in six months. The couple's children - Prince Archie, four, and Princess Lilibet, two - also recorded a sweet video for Charles, singing happy birthday to their grandfather. 

The last time the family saw the King in person was at the late Queen Elizabeth's funeral in September 2022. It's thought that they last spoke on the phone before the King's Coronation in May 2023, which Harry attended solo. But this well-meaning phone call could be the start of a reconciliation between the pair, with The Telegraph reporting that Prince Harry and the King are set to speak again next week. This news comes after the Duke of Sussex's office put out a formal correction after it was suggested that Harry turned down an invite to his father's birthday supper.

A spokesperson for the couple told The Messenger that the Times’ reporting surrounding the celebration was incorrect, explaining: "In response to UK media headlines, there has been no contact regarding an invitation to His Majesty’s upcoming birthday. It is disappointing the Sunday Times has misreported this story."

The Times previously reported that Prince Harry had snubbed an invitation to King Charles' intimate birthday meal, but it's now understood that Harry and Meghan weren't invited to the event. While it looks like there have been some positive steps forward, there could be a while longer to go before the pair's bond is 'healed'.

A source told The Sun: "The King was extremely busy but is polite and loves his son and his grandchildren, and not so mean that he would not take a call on his birthday.

"There is still a long way to go to mend the rift created over many years—and the deeper issues caused by allegations in the Netflix series and Spare are not healed with a phone call."

Prince Harry's memoir Spare created further tension between father and son, with Harry insisting 'the ball is in their court [King Charles and the rest of the Royal family]' when it comes to an apology. However, he also speaks warmly of his 'Pa' and suggests reconciliation is possible - could this go down as the moment the pair started to mead their broken bond?

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has bylines in publications such as Marie Claire UK, Red Magazine, House of Coco, women&home, GoodTo, Woman's Own and Woman magazine.

She started writing for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant and covers everything from fashion and celebrity style to beauty and careers.