Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex have a complicated relationship. While they’re supposedly on their way to repairing their relationship the royal brothers still have a long way to go.
Historian Robert Lacey examines the princes’ falling out in his 2020 book, Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult. In the wake of the book’s publication, the author has some advice for the brothers on how they can patch things up between them and move forward.
Prince Harry admitted he and his brother aren’t that close right now
The Duke of Sussex shed some light on the state of his relationship with William during a 2019 interview with journalist Tom Bradby. The 36-year-old spoke to Bradby for the documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, while on a royal tour of Africa.
Confirming the presence of tension between himself and William, Harry said despite the drama they’re still family.
“Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it’s under… inevitably, you know, stuff happens,” he said.
The Duke of Sussex continued, saying, “But, look, we’re brothers. We’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him and, as I know, he will always be there for me.”
Harry wasn’t the only royal to get personal during the documentary. His wife, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, admitted to not being OK amidst intense public scrutiny.
‘Battle of Brothers’ author thinks Prince William should also address the rift
Lacey thinks the Duke of Cambridge should follow Harry’s lead and publicly address their falling out. Since Harry commented on the rift he and Meghan have stepped down as senior royals. They’re now living in California with their 1-year-old son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor.
Meanwhile, William and his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have been participating in royal engagements. According to Lacey, the royal family is continuing on with them as the public faces of the monarchy. But, as the author told Newsweek, William should comment on the rift.
“It looks to me that the machine is moving forward, it’s promoting William and Kate as the face of their royal generation to the exclusion of Harry,” he said.
“Whereas Harry, in talking about the split to Tom Bradby, said we’re on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and he’ll always be there for me, there’s been no statement from William addressing what’s happened. I think he should address it publicly,” Lacey added.
The reason for Prince Harry and Prince William’s rift is unclear
What’s the reason for the falling out between William and Harry? There are a number of theories as to why they’re not as close as they once were.
Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, the authors of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, suggest the rift started when William tried to give his younger brother relationship advice.
William called the Duchess of Sussex “this girl” during a conversation with Harry, advising him to take the relationship slowly. Harry didn’t take kindly to William’s brotherly concern and that’s supposedly what caused their current rift.
Meanwhile, Lacey says in his book the state of William and Harry’s relationship has been years in the making. While Meghan might’ve “provoked the really big break” between the brothers, there’d already been “stresses and strains” in their relationship.
One example the historian gives is Harry’s Nazi costume in 2005. Lacey said the Duke of Sussex resented William for not sharing in any of the blame for the incident despite being present when he selected the costume.
Separate from the royal rift, Meghan and Harry will return to the U.K. in January 2021 for the first time since stepping down as senior royals. Whether or not they will meet up with William and Catherine remains to be seen.
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