Harry and Meghan's tug-of-war friendships

The Sussexes’ tug-of-war friendships: How Harry and Meghan’s pals are reluctant to distance themselves from King Charles despite the couple’s deepening rift with the royal family

  • The Sussexes share many friends with King Charles despite a royal rift
  • READ MORE: Meghan’s one-time pal Edward Enninful says the British monarchy ‘isn’t perfect’ but King Charles can ‘evolve with the times’ 

Since Harry and Meghan moved to Montecito, California after stepping down as senior royals, they have often been pictured enjoying evenings out with A-list friends – but their friendship circle has shifted somewhat in recent years.

Indeed, many of the people once close to the Sussexes have appeared not to take sides over their public falling-out with the British Royal Family, and have maintained their own ties with the monarchy despite the Duke and Duchess’s attacks on their family members.

Whereas many, including Edward Enninful and Idris Elba, have maintained their involvements with King Charles’s charity, The Prince’s Trust, others participated in the King’s Coronation celebrations in May to show their support for the British royal family.

It appears such celebrity pals are treading carefully, walking a tightrope around between The Sussexes and the rest of the royal family and doing their very best not to take sides in the royal rift that shows no sign of healing any time soon.

Here, FEMAIL takes a look at the Sussexes’ tug-of-war of friendships with the rest of the Royal Family…


As the Sussexes’ rift with other members of the royal family shows no sign of lifting, FEMAIL explores how their friends are doing their best not to take sides. Pictured: Meghan Markle at a Katy Perry concert in Santa Barbara last week

The relationship between pop princess Katy Perry, 39, and the Duchess of Sussex has had its ups and downs over the years – but it seems the pair are firm friends nowadays.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were spotted at a Katy Perry concert in Santa Barbara just last weekend, with the Duchess dressing to impress in a stunning black sequinned dress.

However, it hasn’t always been plain sailing between the famous women – as it has been previously reported that Meghan held a ‘grudge’ against Katy over a critical comment the singer made about her wedding dress.

Katy Perry has also shown her support for King Charles and performed at the Coronation concert in May

During a promotional tour in the US for American Idol in May 2018, Perry joked to Entertainment Tonight she ‘would’ve done one more fitting’ in relation to the dress at St George’s Chapel.

A source told the Daily Star in August 2022: ‘Meghan is keenly aware of a comment that Katy Perry made in 2018 about her wedding dress and is notorious for holding a grudge.

‘While the comment wasn’t meant to be hurtful, Meghan felt under siege at that time and was overwhelmed by arguments with staff, the Duchess of Cambridge, and Thomas Markle.’

However, this did not stop Harry making friends with actor Orlando Bloom, who is Perry’s fiancé, after the family moved to Montecito.

Speaking on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast to discuss his mental health struggles, Harry admitted that he regularly texts his new friend. 

As Harry and Meghan boogied at Katy Perry’s concert last weekend, it seems they are definitely fans of the singer – but they’re not the only royals to have enjoyed her musical talents this year.

The singer also travelled to the UK in May this year where she headlined King Charles’s Coronation Concert alongside the likes of Lionel Richie and Take That.

She performed in front of 20,000 members of the public and invited guests at Windsor Castle including the King and Queen and the Prince and Princess of Wales – but notably, Prince Harry was not present. 

The previous day Katy attended Westminster Abbey where she was one of the exclusive 2,200 guests at the King’s Coronation. 

Following the Coronation events, Katy took to Instagram to share a behind-the-scenes detail in her concert dress which suggested she’s a fan of the monarch.

Inside the corset of the dazzling gold Vivienne Westwood gown, the words ‘Katy Perry, Charles III, 2023’ had been sewn into the material.


The Clooneys were among the glamorous guests at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018 

George and Amal Clooney were among the two most famous non-royals to attend Harry and Meghan’s wedding in 2018 and were given prime seats in St George’s Chapel.

After the marriage they were said to have become closer and Amal was even invited to Meghan’s baby shower in New York in 2019.

The Clooneys hosted Harry and Meghan at least twice at their home in Sonning, Berkshire, according to the Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom.

The book also claimed that the Clooneys invited the Sussexes to Lake Como only weeks after their wedding, flying them out on their private jet.

The couple were spotted at a Prince’s Trust event held in London in May, suggesting they are somewhat in support of the King

Finding Freedom co-author Omid Scobie also told Good Morning America that Harry and Mr Clooney had bonded over a love of motorcycles and basketball.

Asked by the Daily Mail in 2019 how he knew the couple, Mr Clooney said: ‘I’ve just known them. We live not too far from one another and we have dinners and stuff and we’re friends with them for all the reasons that you’re friends with anybody.

‘They’re just really nice, fun, kind people, they’re a very loving couple, and they’re going to be great parents.’

But the Clooneys have not taken sides in the transatlantic row between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family, and turned out in support of King Charles III at a Prince’s Trust event in London in May.


David and Victoria Beckham were among the exclusive guestlist at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018

The Beckhams were also among the Sussexes’ exclusive wedding guest list when they tied the knot at St George’s Chapel in Windsor in 2018.

Meghan is thought to have struck up a friendship with fashion designer Victoria in 2017 when she first moved to the UK and was living in Frogmore Cottage.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the couples bonded because Izzy May, David Beckham’s communications director, was friends with Markus Anderson, chief membership officer for private social club Soho House, who helped arrange Meghan’s secret dates with Harry. 

The Beckhams also hosted Meghan in their six-bedroom house in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles before her marriage to Harry. 

As relations appear to have cooled somewhat between the Sussexes and the Beckhams, footballing legend David is said to be discussing future charity collaborations with the King

David Beckham has a long-standing relationship with the Royal Family and has spent time with William and Harry in the past

By the time that Meghan and Prince Harry became engaged, she and Victoria were said to have ‘grown close’ and would ‘regularly text’, according to royal biographer Tom Bower.

Meghan also gave the designer her seal of approval by selecting a cashmere knit for one of her engagement portraits with Harry.

When the royal couple moved to the US in 2022, David Beckham praised his ‘amazing’ friend Harry – but revealed he hadn’t spoken to the Duke about his decision to step down as a senior royal and move to the US.

He said of Harry: ‘We love him and he’s an amazing person – and that’s the most important thing – but I’m proud to see him growing up as an individual and being that person that every father wants to be.’

But this year, it was claimed the royal couple had a suspicion that the Beckhams leaked stories about Meghan’s help from Victoria to the press – a claim the former Spice Girl denied and left David reportedly feeling ‘absolutely bloody furious’. 

A source close to the Beckhams told the Mail on Sunday: ‘David and Victoria went to Meghan and Harry’s wedding and were very supportive when Meghan arrived in the UK.’

But the accusations, which The Mail on Sunday has been told came in a tense phone call, fractured the Beckham friendship.

The source added: ‘Any making up now is so unlikely.’ 

In contrast, it was reported last week that the Man Utd legend has accepted a dinner invitation from King Charles, after his relationship with the Sussexes appeared to have cooled.

The former England star is dining with Charles to talk about the possibility of him becoming an ambassador for The Prince’s Foundation, a charity founded by the King in order to help provide skills to young people.

David has previously held a similar role representing Invictus Games, the multi-sport competition for sick and injured servicemen and women founded by Prince Harry in 2014. 


Not only was Idris Elba a guest at Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May 2018 – he was also a DJ at their reception

The lauded British actor is best known for his roles in Luther and The Wire – but Idris Elba is also a talented DJ and performed at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, where he was also a guest.

The actor, who hails from Canning Town in East London, was spotted among the exclusive wedding guests at St George’s Chapel in Windsor with his glamorous wife, Sabrina.

However, in the Sussexes’ tell-all Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, the couple shared behind-the-scenes snaps of Idris behind the DJ decks.

Last year, in an interview with BBC Radio 1Xtra, Idris revealed he played Still by rapper Dr Dre, which he joked ‘went off’ with the crowd.

The actor explained that ‘it was Megan’s choice’ to play the song, after taking to the decks for the royal occasion. 

He has also revealed the Duchess busted the most impressive moves on the dancefloor last night, telling ET Canada: ‘I think Meghan was the one that was really like letting it go.

‘You know, she was real… She just had a lot of fun. It was her wedding. So she had the greatest time.’

However, despite being a friend to the Sussexes, Idris has maintained ties with King Charles despite the royal couple’s rift with Harry’s father and other family members.

Idris chatted to the King at a reception for African business leaders held in London last month and has long praised Charles’s charity The Prince’s Trust

Just last month he was pictured chatting happily with the King at a reception for African business leaders at Chapel Barracks in London.

He is also a goodwill ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, Charles’s charity.

When he was starting out in acting, the Trust supported him with a £1,500 grand which helped him train with the National Youth Music Theatre.

Speaking in a video for The Prince’s Trust, he revealed the grant ‘gave me my start in my career’.

The Luther star has worked with the charity for years, and recorded a short video in 2010 showing him meeting with youth work Dante Lauder-Hawkins for the charity.

In the video, he shares that he grew up on a council estate in Hackney, adding he is ‘so proud’ to come from the area.


Outgoing British Vogue editor Edward Enninful collaborated with Meghan Markle on an issue of the magazine in 2019

Also present at last month’s meeting of African business leaders at Chapel Barracks was Edward Enninful, the outgoing editor of British Vogue.

The editor was pictured shaking the King’s hand as the pair appeared to share a joke, both laughing.

Edward also has strong ties with the King’s charity and was made global ambassador for the Prince’s Trust Group in 2021.

This year, he praised the King as ‘charming’, ‘funny’ and ‘kind’ as he penned the monarch’s entry in 100 Most Influential People of 2023 list.

He added that the British monarchy ‘isn’t perfect’ but that King Charles had the ability to ‘evolve with the times’ in spite of this.

Writing the entry for the King, Edward said: ‘He could’ve let his privilege shield him from the realities of our hardship in a time when these were not a cause célèbre. But he always met us with an open mind and a listening ear.’ 

Mr Enninful was also present at the reception for African business leaders in London last month and has praised the King as ‘kind’

Mr Enniful’s links to the monarchy don’t end with King Charles, as he also developed a friendship with the Duchess of Sussex when he collaborated with her on an issue of British Vogue in 2019.

The ‘Forces for Change’ issue put inspirational women including actresses Gemma Chan and Jane Fonda, and former New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern on the front cover.

When it was published in the September, it was the fastest selling issue in the magazine’s 104-year history, selling out in less than 10 days.

The following year, Mr Enninful spoke to Sky News about criticism Meghan received when she joined the royal family, arguing that he didn’t believe it was solely down to racism.

Describing the Duchess as a ‘brave woman’, he said: ‘Parts of it were probably racism, but it was more of an institution.’

He added that while criticism was ‘harsh’, he ‘wouldn’t just blame it on racism’, saying: ‘She walked into an institution and everyone expected her to know the rules. And I think sometimes it takes a minute to understand the rules.’

However he continued to say he believed the treatment of her was ‘very unfair’.

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