Settling in. Prince Harry got honest about his life with Meghan Markle in the United States two years after their exit from their senior royal duties — and he made it clear that he has no regrets.
“Home for me now is, for the time being, is in the States and it feels that way, as well,” the 37-year-old Invictus Games founder said during his Wednesday, April 20, interview with Today‘s Hoda Kotb. “We’ve been welcomed with open arms and have such a great community in Santa Barbara, [California].” When asked whether it felt odd to say that he’s more comfortable on the West Coast than in his native London, Harry replied, “No. … But I’m sure it’ll become a thing.”
The Duke of Sussex and the Suits alum, 40, relocated to the U.S. in early 2020 after announcing their plans to step back from the royal spotlight. Us Weekly confirmed earlier this month that the couple, who share son Archie, 2, and daughter Lilibet, 10 months, paid a visit to Queen Elizabeth II on their way to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games.
“Both Meghan and I had tea with her. It was really nice to catch up with her,” Harry gushed on Wednesday, adding that the monarch was in “great form” ahead of her milestone 96th birthday, which she’ll celebrate on Thursday, April 21.
The meeting marked the first time that the Bench author returned to the U.K. since leaving the palace, but Harry has visited on several occasions, including the April 2021 funeral of the late Prince Philip. However, a source exclusively told Us Prince William and Duchess Kate “were not in attendance” during Harry and Meghan’s recent Windsor Castle visit.
“It was purely coincidental,” the insider said of the brothers’ missed connection. “Harry is coming back to visit soon and hopes to see William in person. They are trying to figure things out. … Harry and Meghan had a wonderful time seeing the queen again. It was one of the biggest highlights of their year so far.”
Since their exit, which was made permanent in February 2021, the Archewell cofounders haven’t always seen eye to eye with Harry’s relatives across the pond. While they’re happy to have their fresh start, the transition out of their senior roles came with plenty of challenges.
“I don’t know how many people feel truly peaceful, you know? At times, I feel massively at peace,” Harry confessed on Today. “But with everything that’s going on in the world and trying to help and use the platform … I think the biggest concern or the biggest issue that people wrestle with on a daily basis is the [sense of] helplessness.”
Returning to his work with the Invictus Games has offered inspiration. “We as human beings are compassionate people,” he continued. “But when your life becomes really hard, it can be, for some, harder to find compassion for other people. What I’ve learned over the years, certainly for myself, is that I find healing through helping other people.”
Scroll down for the biggest revelations from Harry’s candid interview:
Invictus Games Legacy
When Kotb asked how it feels when veterans competing in the event — and their families — confess that the Games “saved” them during their hardest moments, Harry noted, “It feels amazing that we managed to play a part in their recovery, but it also makes me incredibly sad [to know] how dark it was for them.”
His Relationship With the Queen
Harry revealed that his favorite thing about his grandmother is “her sense of humor and her ability to see humor” in every situation. “We have a really special relationship,” he gushed, adding that he isn’t sure whether he’ll be able to attend the queen’s upcoming Platinum Jubilee. “We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else.”
Missing His Family
“Especially over the last two years, for most people, have they not missed their family? … I mean, for me, in the moment, I’m here [at the Games] with these guys, [the veterans] and their families,” he said, seemingly dodging a question about tension between him and his family.
Continuing to Serve
“I think the focus is very much the same, certainly, from my wife’s point of view,” he told Kotb of his and Meghan’s vision for their charitable work. “The two of us, you know, this is a life that she signed up for and that we were committed to doing as a couple forever. Because of the circumstances, we’ve now moved that life of service to the States … [but] nothing’s changed for us. It’s just a little bit more complicated to have to restart.”
His Fatherhood Moments
“What’s a Wednesday like? It revolves around the kids as much as humanly possible. This whole working from home stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be,” he teased. “When your kids and you are in the same place, it’s really hard to separate work from them because they kind of overlap. I mean, Archie spends more time interrupting our Zoom calls than anybody else.”
Harry continued: “There’s so much to be happy about in the outside world, but there’s also so much to worry about. My sort of mantra now every day… is trying to make the world a better place for my kids because otherwise what’s the point of bringing kids into this world?”
Feeling Diana’s Presence
Harry described his late mother’s presence as a “constant” in his life following her 1997 death. “It has been over the last two years, more so than ever before,” he continued. “It’s almost as if she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much helping me. … He’s got his kids, I’ve got my kids. The circumstances are obviously different, but I feel her presence almost daily. … She’s watching over us.”
When asked whether he’s spoken to Archie about Diana, the duke replied, “Very much so. I don’t tell him all the stuff that happened but certainly, ‘This is Grandma Diana,’ and we’ve got pictures up in the house.”