Archie’s bond with cousins George, Charlotte and Louis is ‘biggest challenge’ facing Prince Harry

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Archie's bond with his cousins George, Charlotte and Louis is "biggest challenge" facing Prince Harry, according to a royal author.

As Meghan Markle and Harry's son turns two, Katie Nicholl says the couple are living a "wonderful" life in California, but the separation between Archie and his close relatives is a sore point.

Katie believes that for their children’s sake, the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge will put their differences to one side, at least for an hour or so, to mark the toddler’s special day with a Zoom call.

But for Harry, he's long hoped for his son to form a proper bond with his cousins.

"Harry is living a wonderful life in California, but he faces a challenge," she says. "He always wanted his children to grow up close to William and Kate’s. That would be the childhood he enjoyed with his own cousins, Zara, Beatrice and Eugenie. Sadly it’s looking increasingly unlikely for Archie."

Katie’s comments are backed up by last year’s bombshell book Finding Freedom, in which it was claimed Harry had once told a friend he "had an image of getting married and spending time with William and Kate, the two couples together, their children best friends."

Katie adds: “Very little is known about how much the brothers have spoken in recent months and what the situation is between them, but I find it hard to imagine that the Cambridge’s won’t at least pick up the phone on Archie’s birthday.”

The Duchess of Cambridge is thought to be a driving force behind attempts to mend the dukes’ reportedly fractured relationship and was spotted stepping away to allow the brothers to chat moments after their grandfather’s funeral last month.

But she’s not the only senior royal who puts family above squabbles, especially when it comes to the younger generation.

As such, Katie thinks a birthday call with Her Majesty the Queen will also be on the agenda.

“We know that Harry still speaks regularly with his grandmother and one of the Queen’s joys is to see Archie. I’m sure there will be a Zoom call with her on his special day,” she says.

Archie is set to become a big brother any time now, but he’ll be the centre of attention as he blows out the candles on his cake, with his doting dad, 37 and his mother the Duchess of Sussex, 39, by his side.

“Lockdown is lifting and the sun in California is shining – I’m sure they’ll have a lovely celebration at home,” says Katie. “Harry’s mother, Diana, always made a big deal of her boys’ birthdays and we know how much Harry still loves celebrating. So Harry will make a really big fuss of Archie.”

Harry and Meghan are set to welcome their cherished baby girl, a little sister for Archie, very soon.

“This baby is a much longed-for second child and they’ll be a very close family when she arrives," Katie says. "But up until her arrival, the focus for Harry and Meghan has been on spending quality time with Archie – regardless of their busy work schedule. They’re such committed parents and you see that when they talk about their son. They absolutely adore him.”

Some toddlers find it tricky to adapt to a new sibling on the scene, but Katie suspects all will be fine in the Sussex household.

“Archie won’t be the sole centre of attention anymore, but luckily he’s still a bit too young to fully understand what’s happening, or to experience feelings of jealousy or apprehension about the arrival of his sister.”

We already know that Archie is a cheeky chap with a big personality like his dad, but it’s his calm nature and what Meghan, 39, describes as the “sweetest temperament” that will help him cope with the changes as he graduates from the only child, commanding all the attention to big brother, sharing the spotlight!

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