Prince Harry said he and his wife, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, had a laugh or two when they had tea with Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month and that the monarch was in "great form" after her bout of Covid.
It was the rebellious royal couple’s first public get-together with Harry's 95-year-old grandmother since they acrimoniously broke with the rest of the royal family and decamped for North America.
“Being with her, it was great,” Harry told “TODAY” co-host Hoda Kotb during a sit-down to discuss the fifth Invictus Games, which is the Olympics-like sports competition for wounded veterans that Harry spearheaded. “It was nice to see her, you know.”
The queen, who revealed earlier this month that she was still “tired and exhausted” after coming down with Covid in February, is in "great form,” Harry said.
“She’s always got a great sense of humor with me,” Harry said.
“Well, I know you make her laugh,” Kotb said. “That’s what she always says.”
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But Harry gave no indication that he was planning to return to London and insisted that home, for the foreseeable future, would continue to be Santa Barbara, California — not Britain.
"We've been welcomed with open arms," he said of his new hometown.
"So you feel like that’s home more for you?" Kotb asked.
"Yeah," he replied.
Harry and the former Meghan Markle, now the Duchess of Sussex, visited Elizabeth while en route to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games.
A veteran himself, Harry founded the games to help injured or sick military vets recuperate by giving them a chance to compete in sports events similar to the Paralympics.
Harry had returned from self-exile to Britain in April 2021 for the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip.
But this was the first time Meghan, the American-born Duchess of Sussex, publicly returned to Europe since March 2020, following the announcement that she and her husband had decided to officially “step back” from their roles as senior royals.
Dubbed Megxit, Harry, who is sixth in line to the throne, said he and Meghan would continue to support the queen. But that was before the bombshell interview the couple did with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 that did some serious damage to the royal brand.
Among other things, the couple charged that the royals are deeply out of touch with the rest of the country and complicit in the racism they say drove them abroad. Meghan, who was an actor, is biracial.
Prince William denied Britain’s royal family is racist while Buckingham Palace took the rare step of issuing a statement saying "the issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning."
“While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately," the statement said.
Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, died in a 1997 car accident while trying to escape paparazzi in Paris.
Meanwhile, Meghan has found herself being intensely scrutinized by the British tabloids, which published exposés about her estranged family following her engagement to Harry. She was also attacked for guest-editing an issue of British Vogue and harshly criticized by former friends like British broadcaster Piers Morgan for spilling the royal beans to Winfrey.