The Prince of Wales enjoyed a “very emotional” first meeting with his granddaughter, Lilibet, a senior royal aide has revealed.
Both Prince Charles, 73, and the Duchess of Cornwall, 74, were said to have been “absolutely thrilled” to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their children earlier this month, when they travelled from California for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
It comes after the Duke of Sussex described feeling let down by his father, revealing that he had stopped taking his calls at one stage.
The Sussexes left the monarchy in crisis after using an interview with Oprah Winfrey to accuse an unnamed royal of being racist towards their son, Archie, before he was born. They also accused the wider institution of failing to help Meghan when she had suicidal thoughts.
But a senior royal source said it had been “wonderful” to have the Sussexes back in the UK.
“It was fantastic to see them. It was wonderful to have them back in Britain,” the source said.
“The Prince, of course, hasn’t seen his grandson Archie for a bit of time and so it was very, very, very special to have some time with him.
“He hadn’t met Lili, his granddaughter, and so to meet her was very emotional, a very, very wonderful thing.”
“What grandparent wouldn’t think that was a good day all round?”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appeared at the jubilee service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral, but sat far across the aisle from the Prince of Wales and the Cambridges. They also did not take part in any other public jubilee festivities.
Their children did not appear in public but a photograph from Lilibet’s first birthday party, which took place in Windsor that weekend, was later released.
The latest accounts published by Clarence House reveal that the Prince’s bill for the activities of his two sons and their families has dropped by £1.2 million over two years, now that the Sussexes are no longer listed in the accounts.
The amount fell from £5.61 million in 2019-20, when the Duke and Duchess were still working royals, to £4.38 million in 2021-22.
A royal source declined to explain the figures in further detail, insisting it was “private expenditure”, as the funds were derived from the Prince’s Duchy estate.
However, the aide said of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: “Great credit to them. They said they wanted to transition to financial independence and that has now been achieved.”