The Queen "absorbs things quietly," former palace press secretary Charles Anson tells PEOPLE

By Simon Perry and Stephanie Petit
April 23, 2021 09:00 AM
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queen elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth
| Credit: Ben Stansall/Getty

With 69 years as monarch under her belt, Queen Elizabeth has seen her share of royal ups and downs — including the recent tension between grandsons Prince Harry and Prince William.

"She has been through so many difficult times," a royal insider tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "She knows things will come right in the end."

The Queen's former palace press secretary Charles Anson adds that the Queen, who turned 95 on Wednesday, "absorbs things quietly."

The brothers reunited at Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday in a show of support for their beloved grandparents.

prince philip, prince william, prince harry
Prince William, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Prince Philip
| Credit: Getty

Harry, 36, returned to the U.K. from California for the first time in over a year to attend his grandfather's funeral. Meghan Markle — who is expecting their second child, a baby girl — did not accompany her husband. She "has been advised by her physician not to travel," a royal spokesman said.

Meghan, 39, and son Archie, who turns 2 in May, spoke with the Queen ahead of Prince Philip's funeral, according to a source.

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Queen Elizabeth, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In the wake of Meghan and Prince Harry's interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, there are ongoing tensions within the family.

During the interview on CBS, Meghan refuted reports that she made Kate Middleton cry in the lead-up to her 2018 wedding, saying "the reverse happened." (A source told PEOPLE that both women were in tears over the incident.) They also accused the royal family of racism — including "concerns" over their children's skin color — and not getting Meghan help when she felt suicidal.

5/3/2021 cover Prince Harry and Prince WIlliam
Prince Harry and Prince WIlliam

William hit back at the racism claims during an outing following the interview, saying: "We are very much not a racist family."

When asked if he had spoken to Harry after the Oprah interview, William added, "No, I haven't spoken to him yet, but I will do."

Gayle King, who is friends with Oprah and the Duchess of Sussex, revealed that Harry spoke with William and Charles last month. "The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation," she said.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Queen Elizabeth II
Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth and Meghan Markle
| Credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Queen responded to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's interview in a statement, saying, "The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan."

"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning," the statement continued. "While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.

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"Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members."