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Harry Once Said He Loves William 'Dearly' Yet Admitted They Are on 'Different Paths' — Inside Their Rift

Olawale Ogunjimi
Jun 24, 2022
06:30 A.M.
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Princes Harry and William's relationship has played out in the public eye since they were little boys. The trajectory of their bond as brothers went from being adorable to complicated as they grew into adults.

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Princes William and Harry always knew 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 he was aware of their roles.

Lacey wrote that it was during a family weekend getaway to Highgrove, and the boys got into an argument on the way.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on July 1, 2021 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Four-year-old Harry had called out to his older brother, goading him that he would be king one day while he would do anything he wanted.

At this utterance, their stunned mom, Princess Diana, asked where Harry learned that. It is safe to say the boys had relatable sibling brawls as kids.

After Diana passed on, the public saw William and Harry draw closer than ever. They bonded over the pain they felt about losing their beloved mom and perfectly understood each other.

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park on May 7, 1995 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

Princess Diana, Princess of Wales with her sons Prince William and Prince Harry attend the Heads of State VE Remembrance Service in Hyde Park on May 7, 1995 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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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 launched the "Heads Together" foundation to combat the stigma against mental health.

THE BROTHER'S RIFT

 Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry at the finish line of stage one of The Tour de France on July 5, 2014 in Harrogate, England. | Source: Getty Images

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge with Prince Harry at the finish line of stage one of The Tour de France on July 5, 2014 in Harrogate, England. | Source: Getty Images

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Lacey wrote in his 2020 book that everything seemed cordial until Harry's relationship with Meghan Markle intensified. It was reported that William worried his brother was moving too fast with Markle.

Lacey also claimed that William enlisted his uncle, Charles Spencer, to advise Harry on his relationship. However, after Spencer intervened, the situation only became worse.

He understood Spencer's position but was furious that his brother involved 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, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry watch the Elite men's race of the Virgin Money London Marathon in London, England on April 23, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry watch the Elite men's race of the Virgin Money London Marathon in London, England on April 23, 2017. | Source: Getty Images

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He had nice things to say about Markle in his and Middelton's joint statement when they congratulated the couple on getting engaged. William also played important roles leading up to the royal wedding.

He organized Harry's stag party and was also the best man in 2018. As time went on, the speculations of their rift came up again. The brothers were perceived to be growing distant.

Some of the brothers' actions fueled more speculation. One instance was when Harry and Markle decided to move out of Nottingham Cottage to Frogmore Cottage. Also, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge split their joint charity with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

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Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talk to members of OneWave, an awareness group for mental health and wellbeing at South Bondi Beach on October 19, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. | Source: Getty Images

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex talk to members of OneWave, an awareness group for mental health and wellbeing at South Bondi Beach on October 19, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. | Source: Getty Images

Things came to a head in 2020 when the Sussex royals announced their wish to resign from their duties. Harry would later open up about his decision in a CBS interview:

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"I was trapped but I didn't know I was trapped. Trapped within the system like the rest of the family. My father and my brother are trapped. They don't get to leave and I have huge 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

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

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On the other side of things, Harry and Markle's decision was said to have affected William and Middleton. According to an insider, the couple was said to have felt "blindsided." The insider stated:

"William is incredibly hurt, but at the same time he has his own family to focus on and is trying to move forward with his life."

According to Royal expert Omid Scobie, Harry and William are different men, and the latter has settled into living his life for The Firm. He added that Harry chose a different path by concentrating on his family.

WHAT HARRY SAID ABOUT HIS RIFT WITH WILLIAM

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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

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 the hearsays and expert opinions of the rift between Harry and William, the former confirmed it in his ITV documentary "Harry and Meghan: An African Journey." Harry revealed that they were definitely on different paths, saying:

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"But look, we're brothers, we'll always be brothers. We're certainly on different paths at the moment but I'll always be there for him and as I know he'll always be there for me. We don't see each other as much as we used to because we're so busy, but I love him dearly."

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' Palace on October 10, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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' Palace on October 10, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images

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In his and Markle's CBS interview in March 2021, Harry once again hinted that he and his brother were still not seeing eye to eye. The Prince, who hoped to fix their rift in the future, stated:

"I love William to bits. We've been through hell together and we have a shared experience, but we are on different paths. The relationship is space at the moment and time heals all things, hopefully."

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

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

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The platinum jubilee celebrations were quite the pointer to where Harry and William now stand in their relationship.

For the event, Markle and Harry jetted from their Montecito home to Britain to celebrate his grandmother.

It also happened that Lilibet's first birthday fell within the celebrations. According to Page Six, the Sussexes extended an invitation to the Cambridges, but the latter did not oblige 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

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

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However, the royal couple shared birthday wishes for Lilibet on their social media page. It was also reported that Harry's kids did not meet their cousins, George, Charlotte, and Louis before he jetted back to California.

Further reports stated that Harry and William did not spend time together, and it did not seem like they were on the verge of patching things up.

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

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

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A friend of William stated that the Prince was still "deeply upset, but he's moved on." Another friend shared:

"He [William] alternates between grieving for what he has lost and feeling really, really angry about what his brother has done."

More pals insinuated that William was still "mourning" the loss of a brother, and the foreseeable future did not seem to hold a repair. He said he loves his brother and seems to have lost the other person who understood their lives.

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