Prince Charles reportedly hopes that his relationship with Prince Harry is just going through a rough patch that could be repaired. Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, now live in California with their children, far from the royal family in the U.K. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex brought their family to the U.K. last month for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations and reportedly had an "emotional" visit with Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
"I think a lot of people don't don't see Charles as a doting grandfather, but he absolutely is," royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight last week. "He's spent more time in recent years with the Cambridge grandchildren and he's very, very keen to have a close relationship with Meghan and Harry's children." Nicholl said Charlies is "quite sad" that he hasn't had much time with Harry and Markle's son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 1.
"I do know that Charles absolutely wants to start healing that fractured relationship with Harry," Nicholl told ET. She described Harry's meeting with Charles last month as "very much the beginning" of Charles' efforts to fice their relationship. The meeting "paved the way for some more conciliatory talks."
Charles, 73, "loves" Harry, 37, and "wants to forgive his son for everything," Nicholl added. He hopes to "repair" their relationship because he wants to see his grandchildren more often. "It may mean a few more transatlantic trips, but he wants to enjoy this experience," Nicholl explained.
In early June, Harry and Markle, 40, visited the U.K. to attend some of Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee events. This was Lilibet's first trip to the U.K. and also gave Charles the chance to see Archie for the first time in a long time. The meeting "was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing," a source told ET on June 30. A senior royal source also said Charles and Camilla were "absolutely thrilled" to see Harry and Markle again.
Lilibet's first birthday coincided with the trip to the U.K. Harry and Markle released a photo taken at Frogmore Cottage to celebrate the milestone. They invited close friends for a "casual, intimate" backyard picnic, a spokesperson told PEOPLE. Claire Ptak of East London's Violet Bakery made the special birthday cake for Lilibet, four years after making the cake for Harry and Meghan's wedding. Harry and Markle reportedly renewed their lease for Frogmore Cottage, leading to some speculation that they may be returning to the U.K. more often.