The rift between Prince William and his younger brother, Prince Harry, has left the older sibling with much grief. However, it doesn't seem like much healing will come anytime soon for the pair because of Harry's behavior in the media.
According to reports, Prince Harry and Prince William were once so close that they were inseparable. Their shared history and tragedy kept the pair bonded; growing up, they were close.
Despite having completely different personalities — William kept his emotions hidden and was quite stoic, while Harry was more prone to show his feelings clearly and was a free spirit.
Prince William and Prince Harry as the latter tries to walk on his own in the playroom at Kensington Palace on October 22, 1985. | Source: Getty Images
Penny Junor, the writer of two biographies about the brothers, told People Royals, "Broadly speaking, they have always been very different characters but very close because of their situation — the fact that [their parents'] marriage was unhappy."
Junor also revealed, "They relied upon each other." In the November 2019 issue of Royals Monthly, Princess Diana's biographer, Andrew Morton, shared how the two siblings' relationship had been "incredibly intimate."
Prince William and Prince Harry on the balcony at Buckingham Palace on June 14, 2003, after Trooping the Colour in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
The author said no one except the two brothers knew exactly what was happening in their minds and hearts over the last 20 years. William and his brother experienced the loss of Diana, their mother, at an early age.
Morton speculated that the only people the pair could trust when talking about their experience candidly were each other. The two boys allegedly didn't even open up to their father, Prince Charles.
Prince William and Prince Harry stand outside Westminster Abbey at the funeral of Princess Diana on September 6, 1997, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Harry was 12, and his brother was 15 when their mother, the Princess of Wales, passed away in a car crash in 1997 while in Paris. In April 2011, the Duke of Sussex was by William's side when he married his wife, Duchess Kate.
Harry allegedly described his older brother as "the perfect brother" and said he loved Kate "like a sister" during his wedding speech. Over the following years, the Duke of Sussex appeared to enjoy going to royal engagements with the couple.
In 2013, the trio launched a campaign to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health called Heads Together. However, the bond the brothers had built would not stand the test of time.
THE RIFT BETWEEN WILLIAM AND HARRY
Prince Harry, Duchess Kate, and Prince William during the commemoration of the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 2016, in Thiepval, France. | Source: Getty Images
According to reports, Harry and William's close relationship started deteriorating in public in 2016 after the former met his future wife, Duchess Meghan. The Duke of Cambridge allegedly warned his younger brother about taking it easy with the new relationship.
It was revealed that William was concerned about how quickly Harry moved with his new girlfriend. The book "Battle of Brothers" alleged that the Duke of Cambridge even tried getting his late mother's brother involved.
Charles Spencer at Kensington Palace for the unveiling of a new statue for Princess Diana on what would've her 60th birthday in London on July 1, 2021. | Source: Getty Images
He asked his uncle, Charles Spencer, to talk to the Duke of Sussex about the matter. However, Spencer's involvement allegedly worsened matters, and Harry refused to heed their concerns but didn't blame his uncle for reaching out.
The book claimed Harry understood why his uncle wanted to help but was furious with William for including other family matters in their issues. By May 2018, Harry was ready to marry Meghan, but accusations between her and Kate during the wedding preparations came out.
Meghan Markle and Duchess Kate at the first annual Royal Foundation Forum on February 28, 2018, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Reports revealed that Kate and Meghan had a tearful run-in with insiders claiming the siblings defended their respective wives in the matter. It started becoming clear that the formerly close siblings were growing apart and taking different directions in their lives.
In February 2019, it was announced that the Sussexes were separating their royal charity from the Cambridges, with Buckingham confirming the news in June. The Royal Foundation was set to become the Cambridges.
Duchess Kate, Prince William, Prince Harry, and Duchess Meghan at the Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019. | Source: Getty Images
While the Sussexes were going to establish their charitable foundation, in November 2019, Harry and his wife revealed that they would skip the family's Christmas tradition with the Queen.
An Us Weekly source claimed that part of the reason for that change was because of the rift between Harry and his brother. Then, in January 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex allegedly "blindsided" William when they stepped back from their senior royal roles.
The announcement was made a day before Kate's 38th birthday rubbing "salt into the wounds." An insider claimed the move was made sadder because, in the past, Harry went to William with any big news.
The Duke of Cambridge was hurt but focused on his family and tried to move on with his life. In February 2020, it was revealed that the brothers had only spoken a few times about "business matters" since the Sussexes moved to Canada.
Some people close to the couple believed that Harry wouldn't have left the UK for the US if he hadn't met Meghan. However, a family friend revealed how the Duke of Sussex "wasn't happy in his life before," adding how his wife:
"Brought him happiness, so he is determined to pursue his life alongside her. He's so full of character and full of love as well."
Shocking everyone, the couple had a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021. Harry and his wife exposed their bad experiences in the Royal Family and called out William and Charles, leading to the rift between the Duke of Sussex and his brother growing.
In June 2021, the "Battle of Brothers" book claimed William was quite upset when rumors emerged that Meghan bullied royal staff members while in the UK. Harry's brother allegedly felt that Meghan appeared to be stealing the younger sibling.
Prince William in a video call with Syrian aid workers supported by the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal on March 18, 2021, in the United Kingdom. | Source: Getty Images
Kate's husband was left feeling "betrayed" and "hurt" because he'd always felt protective over Harry. However, William stopped trying to protect his brother as he focused on the monarchy.
The book also revealed how Harry was "equally furious" that his brother would believe the accusations against his wife. However, efforts were made later to try and reconcile the feuding siblings.
ATTEMPTS AT RECONCILIATION
Prince William and Prince Harry at the unveiling of a statue of their mother Princess Diana at Kensington Palace on July 1, 2021, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
During his interview with Winfrey, Harry confirmed that he and his brother clashed. However, he shared his hopes that they would repair things because he loved his sibling, and they'd gone through difficult times together.
Meghan's husband described their 2021 relationship as "space" but hoped time would heal them. In 2022 before the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, it was said the brothers were allegedly messaging each other every few days via Whatsapp.
They also had secret FaceTime calls with their respective children, with a source claiming, "The two of them have healed the rift and are very much back on their old buddy terms."
THE RIFT BETWEEN HARRY AND WILLIAM GOT WORSE AT THE JUBILEE
In the middle of June 2022, Richard Eden, Daily Mail's diary editor, noted how the Cambridges seemed to want nothing to do with the Sussexes at the Jubilee. He challenged the claims that Willaim and Harry were starting to get along because it wasn't evident during the celebrations.
Despite all that was happening between the brothers [Princes William and Harry], one thing kept them united.
On June 3, 2022, the second day of the Jubilee, Meghan and Harry were seated far away from Kate and William at the National Service of Thanksgiving held at St Paul's Cathedral. It seemed the feeding brothers did not attempt to speak at the event.
WILLIAM'S FEELINGS TOWARD HARRY
Prince William and Prince Harry after placing flowers amongst the tributes to their late mother Princess Diana in London, England, on August 30, 2017. | Source: Getty Images
According to journalist Rebecca English, William was "mourning" the loss of Harry with a slight chance available for their rift to be repaired. A source claimed the Duke of Cambridge alternated "between grieving for what he has lost and feeling really, really angry about what his brother has done."
However, William "believes there are things you just don't do. And Harry has 100 percent crossed that line" with the accusations he's made against the family. Kate's husband was allergic to drama, and his brother was airing their dirty laundry everywhere.
The Cambridge's were allegedly trying to keep the peace despite all the talk from the Sussexes. A royal insider previously shared how the siblings would confess they missed each other if left alone in a room.
The Queen also allegedly believed that time healed all wounds and things looked like they would go in that direction in the future. Despite all that was happening between the brothers, one thing kept them united.