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As King Charles looks to the future of the British monarchy, the odds of him offering Meghan Markle and Prince Harry another chance to join the working royals are looking slim.
“The king’s message in his first speech was clear – he loves Meghan and Harry – but he was also clear that they’ve chosen a different life,” True Royalty TV co-founder Nick Bullen told Fox News Digital. “They’ve chosen to grow their lives overseas, in the States. He acknowledged that. His olive branch was simply, ‘I love you, you are very much a member of the royal family,’ as the queen said several years ago. But also made it clear – ‘You’ve made your decision on what you want to do, and I support you in that, but that’s your decision.'”
“I don’t think he will be encouraging them to rejoin the working royals,” Bullen continued. “As you know, Harry and Meghan have made it very clear that it’s not a role they want. So I think the olive branch is a family olive branch. It’s not an olive branch to rejoin the working royals.”
Bullen is an award-winning documentarian who has been producing programs about the British royal family for 20 years and has worked closely with King Charles for about a decade.
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His subscription service is launching two specials for streaming: “The Royal Beat: Her Majesty’s Final Journey” and “Recollections: Memories of Her Majesty.” Both feature royal experts and palace insiders weighing in on Elizabeth’s life and legacy.
Bullen claims that Charles, 73, has been heartbroken over how things have unfolded with the Sussexes over the years.
“The king was incredibly welcoming of Meghan when she arrived on the scene,” Bullen explained. “The king adores his sons and particularly, he wanted Harry to be happy. And he could see how happy Meghan made Harry. So that made the king happy. And by the way, it also made Camilla very happy. She was very welcoming of Meghan as well. The whole family tried very hard to include her in their circle. The king walked Meghan down the aisle when she married Harry. And that was something he offered when Thomas Markle was unable to attend the wedding. So I think they are all very sad that it just didn’t work out. They’re very sad that the Sussexes are living on the other side of the world. And I think Charles is sad he doesn’t get to see his grandchildren as much as he would like.”
“Moments like what we’ve seen when they all came together for the queen’s funeral must have heightened that sadness,” Bullen continued. “It’s in those moments when you realize where the rifts are and how things have been broken. I do think the king, more than anyone, wants the family to come back together. There is a sadness that the family isn’t operating the way he would like.”
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Royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital that following the queen’s passing, she wondered if the Sussexes would find a way to heal any rifts.
“I hope that her passing has allowed for a thaw between them and the king,” she said. “But once they get back to their life in California, the distance may take over again. Not to mention, Harry’s [upcoming] memoir is allegedly very unflattering about Camilla, and she is now queen consort, the king’s ‘darling’s wife,’ and his closest and most trusted adviser.”
“I think the king has been remarkable,” said Bullen. “His speech to the nation was impeccable. It was absolutely pitch-perfect. And you know, the way that he and the rest of the royal family operated throughout this entire period has been nothing short of a master class in how to exemplify the queen’s work in terms of duty and service. He is now in Balmoral [where the queen passed] to have some quiet time, to reflect and gather his thoughts. He’s been supporting the nation, guiding the nation and welcoming world leaders from across the globe. But he now needs his private time to mourn. He needs this time to reflect on this loss. Up until now, he had to share his grief with the rest of the world.”
“The queen consort has put in 17 years of service to the crown, she is a good and loving wife to the king,” Felton Spence shared. “The marital drama [involving Princess Diana] is very much 30 years in the past in the public’s eyes. They have since turned around on Camilla. But not for Harry, of course, because of how terrible it was for his late mother. That’s understandable. A son’s enduring love. The question is whether his father would tolerate another public hit from him.”
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Following the queen’s state funeral, Charles flew to Balmoral in Scotland to privately mourn the loss of his mother. Queen Elizabeth passed away on Sept. 8 at age 96.
Bullen said that over the years, he witnessed how Charles would make a great king. But there’s one memory that stands out to him.
“I’ve been lucky enough to work with the king on many occasions and to spend significant amounts of time with him,” he said. “But there was a moment where we were making a documentary about the 40th anniversary of the Prince’s Trust. This has been his life’s work as the Prince of Wales, and he’s made a huge difference to disadvantaged youngsters here in the UK and across the globe . As he was getting older, he wanted to know how he could connect with a younger audience. And he wanted this documentary to do that. He spoke to me about presenters that we could bring in, ones that would appeal to a younger generation. And he was so knowledgeable about who we should go after and why.”
“As I listened to him, I just thought to myself, ‘Wow, this guy is so switched on,'” Bullen shared. “‘He knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows how to reach an audience, how to engage with a younger generation. And remember, he was probably in his mid-60s at the time. He was very much the same on the many occasions we worked together, but it was that very moment where I first spotted his understanding of how to reach people and what he needed to do to make that happen. And I think you saw it very much in his first speech as king. He is dedicated to his family, to duty, and service. And he wants to have an impact on the world stage.”
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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s departures from royal duties began in 2020 over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes towards the former “Suits” star. The family now resides in the coastal city of Montecito, California, with their two children.
Fox News Digital’s Ashley Papa and The Associated Press contributed to this report.