While alive, Princess Diana took pride in the bond her two sons shared, but decades after her death, things between the brothers have drastically changed, and a royal expert now claims that the late Princess would have been "heartbroken" to see what they have become.
Princess Diana was one of the most beloved royals before she passed, but perhaps the two people who loved her the most were her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, on whom she had showered all of her love.
She raised the pair with love and understanding that flowed from her own experiences as a young royal, doing her best not to shower one with attention at the expense of the other. Indeed, her love as a mother knew no favorite, even though she knew that one of her children would end up being king while the other was forever doomed to walk in his shadow.
Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry pictured playing the piano in Kensington Palace. | Source: Getty Images
Prince William was the oldest of the two and had a chance to become king. Hence, it was only natural that the Queen and other senior members of the royal family paid more attention to him while Harry, his brother, was often sidelined. As they grew older, both brothers realized this, and Harry's confidence suffered from the enlightenment.
Diana accepted that William was destined for glory. While she felt sorry for Harry, she also secretly rejoiced because she knew that while firstborns may enjoy glory, secondborns would be the ones to have all the freedom. While alive, she tried her best to ensure that Harry felt just as loved and wanted as William and treated them equally.
The Princess of Wales was also bent on ensuring they were educated in ways the royal family had never been by exposing them to the life regular people lived. She would disguise herself to take them to places like KFC or McDonald's and even make them wait in line at movie theaters like ordinary people.
Thus the boys had a taste of life outside the royal family while living among them. Still, despite her best intentions and the love the boys had for one another, they would always compete between themselves because they both despised losing.
A RIFT BETWEEN BROTHERS
Prince Harry and Prince William pictured laughing together on the podium after Stage 1 of the Tour De France on July 5, 2014 in Harrogate, United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images
It all began in 2018 when rumors started floating around about the relationship between Harry and Williams' wives, Meghan and Kate. People believed there was a feud between them until royal reporter Katie Nicholl revealed that it was the two brothers who were not getting along.
They reportedly had a disagreement in December 2018 when Harry complained about how his brother was not doing enough to involve Meghan in royal affairs. Charles eventually had to step in and ask William to do more which was when he invited them to spend Christmas together.
Diana had always seen Harry as William’s wingman, hoping that they would together be able to usher the royal family into a modern era.
Prince William, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry pictured arriving to attend Christmas Day Church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate on December 25, 2018 in King's Lynn, England. | Source: Getty Images
The two families spent that Christmas in Sandringham with the Queen, but it was noticed that William willfully ignored Meghan when she attempted to speak to him. Nicholl explained that William believed Harry's relationship with Meghan was moving too quickly, and he had voiced his concerns. Still, Harry had taken it as criticism, and thus the royal feud began.
By April 2019, the brothers had already stopped speaking to one another. Still, things seemed to have improved in May, and an olive branch was extended between the brothers in the form of a visit made by William and Kate to Frogmore Cottage, where Harry and his wife were living.
Prince William and Prince Harry during the commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge on April 9, 2017 in Lille, France. | Source: Getty Images
When Archie was born, things improved further between the brothers as William was happy that his brother had become a father; however, during Archie's christening, William seemed unhappy to be there.
Later, a source revealed that William and Kate were not satisfied with how private the Sussexes were keeping Archie's christening, and the older prince blamed Meghan.
In October 2019, Harry admitted that there was a rift between himself and William in unlikely terms, stating that there would always be good days and bad ones because they were brothers. A source would later reveal that Kate hated seeing Harry and Meghan so miserable and that she hoped the rift would be sealed because life was too short.
November saw the Sussexes announce their plans to spend Christmas with Meghan's mother, Doria, and an insider revealed that the drama between the brothers was the leading cause of the decision.
In January 2020, Meghan and Harry announced that they would be retiring from their duties as senior royals, and they left for Canada with their son that same month — it only added more fuel to the feud fire.
Later, the Queen shared a personal statement that showed her support for Harry and Meghan's decision. William had no such feelings, and it was later revealed that the announcement had completely blindsided him, so the rift remained.
Towards the end of March 2020, it seemed like the rift was slowly closing, as the brothers started communicating once more and agreed to do their part by caring for their country as the pandemic raged on. But on March 9, when Harry and Meghan attended their final royal engagement, it was noticed that the Cambridges and the Sussexes were not on speaking terms.
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, Kate Middleton, and Prince Charles photographed in Westminster Abbey after attending the annual Commonwealth Service in London on March 9, 2020 | Source: Getty Images
In June 2020, a report claiming that William was still annoyed with his brother's exit went public; in September, it was revealed that the Sussexes had signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Netflix. This made William and many other royals very unhappy because Netflix was responsible for airing "The Crown," a series the royal family was very uncomfortable with.
By July, Harry and Meghan purchased their first home together in Santa Barbara, California, and they continued to settle into their lives in the US. The following year, in March, they had an explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey where they revealed potentially damaging information about the royal family.
The interview lasted for two hours and saw them level accusations that far outshone what Harry's mother had revealed in her landmark interview decades ago. It ruffled many feathers and left William at his lowest because his brother, whom he had sheltered as best as he could, was saying negative things even though he knew what impact they would have.
AN ATTEMPT TO SEAL THE RIFT
Queen Elizabeth II smiles on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping the Colour alongside Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Prince Louis of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, and Prince William during Trooping The Colour on June 02, 2022 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Despite all that happened between the Sussexes and the royal family, Harry and Meghan harbored hope that the hatchet would be buried when they turned up for the Queen's golden jubilee this year. Their presence at the jubilee was their first public return to Britain since their exit in 2020; their absence had not made hearts grow fonder.
Many hoped both brothers would be pictured together during the celebrations, but nothing of the sort happened. In fact, the pair was mostly ignored by other senior royals, which indicated how things stood between them.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral on June 03, 2022 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The only senior royal they seem to have had contact with was the Queen and, according to Mirror, Prince Charles, whom they visited at his London residence just before the National Thanksgiving Service that saw them sit separately from the other royals.
After they met with Charles, Royal expert Christopher Andersen claimed that the jig was up, which meant there might be no coming back from the state of things because Charles had not expressed any "touchy-feely" emotions while they met.
Prince William with Diana, Princess of Wales and Prince Harry on his first day at Eton in September 1995. | Source: Getty Images
According to him, "the curtain has come down. And one of the things I think is so sad about this is Diana, were she alive today, would be heartbroken by this."
According to Andersen, Diana had always seen Harry as William's wingman, hoping they would together be able to usher the royal family into a modern era. They were to be "her revenge," but Andersen said that as things stand, only William's family will be able to do that.