The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Sussex have forged a remarkable bond due to their dysfunctional family backgrounds, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
Charles is deeply sympathetic to his new daughter-in-law Meghan's family troubles and is impressed with how she has coped with her relatives' embarrassing outbursts.
One of his inner circle said the Prince recognised the House of Windsor has, like the Markle clan, endured "so many traumas and crises… and many divorces" of its own, reports Daily Mail.
The source said: "Because there's been bad behaviour that's caused problems in his family, Charles understands how difficult it must be for Meghan. And it has endeared her to him even more."
Those closest to Charles draw a parallel between Meghan's dignified forbearance in the face of hurtful comments from relatives, and how the Prince stoically endured public criticism from Princess Diana.
"Whatever they felt inside, they've both put on a strong public face and not hidden away," said another source.
The Prince's close rapport with Meghan, whom he walked down the aisle in place of her absent father, has delighted Prince Harry and senior members of the Royal Family. It is an understanding that has been further strengthened by a shared love of art, history and culture, with Charles describing Meghan as "incredibly smart".
Charles and Meghan's bond is revealed in The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine today by Royal biographer Angela Levin, who spent a year following the Prince ahead of his 70th birthday later this month.
Camilla has also warmed to Meghan. "Not least because both of them have joined the Royal Family from the outside," said a source. "Camilla goes out of her way to find time to spend with her, to get to know her and make her feel welcome."
As the tour of Australasia demonstrated, The Duchess's transition from actress to high-profile Royal has been seamless – something that has gladdened Charles, who believes her Hollywood training has enabled Meghan to withstand intense scrutiny.
In addition to the Event profile, The Mail on Sunday has learned from separate sources of a Scottish holiday enjoyed by Charles and the newlyweds over the summer.
Charles entertained Harry and Meghan at the Castle of Mey, the late Queen Mother's remote home in Caithness, telling friends he was "tickled pink" when they agreed to join him. He also invited the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, but they declined.
Sources said Charles told a member of his family that the week with his son and daughter-in-law was "joyous". There were coastal walks and a spot of bird watching.
"I think it's fair to say that Meghan has brought Harry and Charles closer, and Charles is thrilled to have a new daughter-in-law.
"Camilla wasn't there, she was enjoying a bucket-and-spade holiday with her own children and grandchildren, so I think that made it even more special for Charles."
Meanwhile, Levin paints a portrait of a man who is settled, content and happy – more so than he has been for years. Marriage to Camilla - whom he frequently describes as "my darling wife" – arrested his tendency to melancholy, particularly evident in the bleak period following the death of Princess Diana when his popularity plummeted and many said he was not fit to be King.