Prince Harry is still close to Queen Elizabeth, despite having stepped down from his royal duties.
The Duke of Sussex has worked to maintain his relationship with his grandmother despite the turmoil surrounding Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s departure from the royal family, which has caused rifts between the couple and other royal family members, including Prince William.
Through video calls, Harry updates the Queen on his life and that of his kids, Archie and Lilibet. On his way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands in April, he stopped by the Queen’s residence at Windsor Castle.
When the family was in the UK earlier this month for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, he also introduced the monarch to his 1-year-old daughter Lilibet, who shares the name Lilibet with the Queen.
The Queen, for her part, has had to walk a fine line between pity for the couple and firmness in support of her position as the monarch.
A royal insider says in the newest PEOPLE Royals, out on Friday, “One thing about the Queen is she has to manage being a grandmother but also how it affects the wider institution.”
The Queen’s appearance in Harry’s 2016 promotional video for the Invictus Games is one of the few public instances that perfectly captures their relationship.
Harry approached Queen Elizabeth while they were both seated on a floral sofa in Windsor Castle and showed her a quick video on his phone. On it, Michelle Obama and then-President Barack Obama were seen making fun of him regarding the upcoming Invictus Games. They sarcastically predicted that the United States would triumph at the Paralympic-style games that Harry started for military personnel years ago. One of the servicemen gathered around the Obamas let out a triumphant “Boom” to underline the prediction.
Harry, however, and his grandmother had different plans: The Queen shrugged her shoulders and said with her trademark understatement as the cameras started to roll: “Really, boom? Please.”
Six years later, it is obvious that few, if any, members of the Queen’s extended family would have the courage and humor to approach her and request her participation in such a prank.
Harry’s action highlighted their mutual respect as well as his grandmother’s willingness to display a different side of herself for him in front of the public.
A friend has said of the relationship between the monarch and the Duke of Sussex, “If Harry asked, the Queen would say yes— as she adores him.”