The relationship between Princes Harry and William has been known to the public since they were little boys. The trajectory of their bond as brothers went from adorable to complicated as they grew into adults.
Princes William and Harry have always known their roles in the British royal family, even when they were young boys. According to Robert Lacey, the royal author of ‘Battle of Brothers’, Harry was four years old when he first showed knowledge of their roles.
Lacey wrote that it was during a family weekend in Highgrove, and the boys had a fight on the way.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned for their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden on the occasion on what would have been his 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Four-year-old Harry had called his older brother, goading him that he would be king one day when he would do whatever he wanted.
At this statement, their stunned mother, Princess Diana, asked where Harry had learned this. It’s safe to say the boys had sibling fights when they were kids.
Following Diana’s passing, audiences have seen William and Harry grow closer than ever. They bonded over the pain they felt at the thought of losing their beloved mother and understood each other perfectly.
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the VE Heads of State Memorial Service at Hyde Park on May 7, 1995 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The princes’ warm sibling love deepened over time, and when William married Duchess Kate Middleton, Harry was by his side. During his speech at the wedding, he described his older brother as “the perfect brother”.
Harry was close to Middleton, and together with her and William, they started the “Heads Together” foundation to fight mental health stigma.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry at the finish line of the first stage of the Tour de France on July 5, 2014 in Harrogate, England. | Source: Getty Images
Lacey wrote in her 2020 book that everything seemed cordial until Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle escalated. It has been reported that William was worried his brother was going too fast with Markle.
Lacey also claimed that William enlisted his uncle, Charles Spencer, to advise Harry on his relationship. However, after Spencer’s intervention, the situation only got worse.
He understood Spencer’s position but was furious that his brother was involving other family members. After Harry proposed to Markle in 2017, the dust seemed to settle on William’s side.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry watch the men’s Elite race of the Virgin Money London Marathon in London, England, on April 23, 2017. | Source: Getty Images
He had some nice things to say about Markle in his joint statement with Middelton when they congratulated the couple on their engagement. William also played important roles before the royal wedding.
He hosted Harry’s bachelor party and was also the best man of 2018. As time went by, speculation about their breakup resurfaced. The brothers were seen as increasingly distant.
Some of the brothers’ actions have fueled further speculation. One example was when Harry and Markle decided to move from Nottingham Cottage to Frogmore Cottage. Also, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge split their charity with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex chat with members of OneWave, a mental health and wellbeing awareness group at South Bondi Beach on October 19, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. | Source: Getty Images
Things came to a head in 2020 when the Sussex Royal Family announced their wish to step down from office. Harry would later discuss his decision in a CBS interview:
“I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped. Trapped in the system like the rest of the family. My dad and my brother are trapped. They can’t leave and I have immense compassion for that. “
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react during their visit to Canada House in thanks for the warm Canadian hospitality and support they received during their recent stay in Canada, in London on January 7, 2020. | Source: Getty Images
On the other hand, Harry and Markle’s decision would have affected William and Middleton. According to an insider, the couple felt “blindsided”. The insider said:
“William is incredibly hurt, but at the same time he has to focus on his own family and trying to move on with his life.”
According to royal expert Omid Scobie, Harry and William are different men, and the latter has settled down to live his life for The Firm. He added that Harry chose a different path by focusing on his family.
WHAT HARRY SAID ABOUT HIS BROKEN UP WITH WILLIAM
Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex react during the wedding ceremony of Britain’s Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in Windsor on October 12, 2018. | Source: Getty Images
Through hearsay and expert opinion on Harry and William’s rift, the former confirmed it in his ITV documentary ‘Harry and Meghan: A Journey to Africa’. Harry revealed that they were definitely on different paths, saying:
“But listen, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re definitely on different paths right now but I’ll always be there for him and like I know he’ll always be there for me. We don’t see each other anymore. as much as before because we are very busy, but I love him deeply.”
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex host a reception to officially open the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference at St James’s Palace on October 10, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
In his interview with Markle on CBS in March 2021, Harry again hinted that he and his brother still disagree. The prince, who hoped to mend their breakup in the future, said:
“I love William to pieces. We’ve been through hell together and we have a common experience, but we’re on different paths. The relationship is the space right now and time hopefully heals everything.”
INSIDE THE BROTHERS RELATIONSHIP NOW
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the WellChild Awards at Royal Lancaster Hotel on September 4, 2018 in London, England. The Duke of Sussex has been patron of WellChild since 2007. | Source: Getty Images
The platinum jubilee celebrations were quite revealing of where Harry and William are at in their relationship now.
For the event, Markle and Harry flew from their Montecito home to Britain to celebrate her grandmother.
It also happened that Lilibet’s first birthday fell into the festivities. According to Page Six, the Sussexes extended an invitation to the Cambridges, but the Cambridges did not accept as they continued their duties at the Platinum Jubilee.
Britain’s Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex sit behind Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge inside Westminster Abbey as they attend the annual Commonwealth service in London on March 9, 2020. | Source: Getty Images
However, the royal couple shared their birthday wishes for Lilibet on their social media page. It was also reported that Harry’s children did not meet their cousins, George, Charlotte and Louis until he returned to California.
Other reports said Harry and William hadn’t spent any time together, and it didn’t look like they were about to put things right.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend the annual Remembrance Sunday memorial at the Cenotaph on November 10, 2019 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
A friend of William’s said the prince was still “deeply upset, but he has moved on”. Another friend shared:
“He [William] alternates between crying for what he lost and feeling really, really mad at what his brother did.”
More pals hinted that William was still “mourning” the loss of a brother, and the foreseeable future didn’t seem to hold a repair. He said he loved his brother and seems to have lost the other person who understood their life.