Izay Ayesha comments upon the typical sibling rivalry
The story “A royal relationship gone sour” of the split between William and Harry, royal brothers is widely commented upon and has become a curious phenomenon. In his biography Harry has mentioned William as his ‘archnemesis’, adding that there has always been this competition between them. It is interesting to witness that the brothers who seemed once very close, have completely distanced themselves both literally and figuratively from each other. The last time they were seen together was at their grandmother’s funeral in September 2022 but the two seemed to be simply indifferent to each other. William and Harry live on different continents and disagree about important issues in life including family, the monarchy and the media but they were not always this way and were inseparable.
When they were children it was common to see them together playing and they were seen playing with games. This union between brothers was the fruit of the education of their late mother Diana Princess of Wales. At their mother’s funeral in 1997 it was clear to see how the very young William and Harry supported each other as they mourned the loss of their mother. By the end of 2018, it seemed that Harry and William were becoming more removed from each other. They stopped sharing an office in Kensington. It was pointed out that it was a logical and natural evolution because of the different positions each of them occupied within the royal family and the country.
In addition to all this, Harry and Meghan moved away from Kensington Palace, where his brother William, Kate Middleton and their children also lived. While Harry was single, he felt great living with his brother and sister-in-law but when he got married he needed his own home to be with his wife. Harry and Meghan moved to Frogmore Cottage, a complex in which five separate zones were reconverted into a single residence for Harry and Meghan. The remodeling cost 2.4 million pounds or $3 million in public funds and were duly sanctioned and approved.
What some media houses saw as a simple search for comfort for Harry and Meghan titles as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, having become first-time parents, others described the move as an example of the bad relationship between the brothers. The brothers’ partners, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, may have played a part in their distancing. After getting married, the brothers were not each other’s main go to point anymore. Instead, they had their wives to confide in. 2019 was the year in which the British royal family seemed to fall apart. In October of that year, Prince Harry spoke about the troubled relationship with his brother William for the first time. It was in a documentary for the British broadcaster ITV.
He said they were on different paths right now and added that he will always be here for him, just as he knew he will be here for him but confessed that they did not see each other as much as they used to. This confession raised the question whether their relationship was a normal brotherly relationship or something else. In the same controversial interview, Harry had said that most rumours about him and his brother were created out of nothing. He had added that like most brothers, you have good days and bad days but that he loved William very much.
The never-ending harassment by media and the perceived lack of support from William, Kate and the other family members, eventually caused Harry and Meghan to withdraw from their public duties for good. The discontent of Meghan and Harry in the royal family came to a point when they decided to leave their public duties and move to North America in January of 2020. The couple announced their decision to the press before letting their family know. By the time William was hurt by Meghan and Harry’s public statements and it was widely reported that people close to them had not seen such fury. William though tried to remain civil and though showed that he was simply worried about his brother and hoped that Harry and his wife would be well but nursed grievance about them.
In early 2020, after the ‘Megxit’ ‘bomb,’ it was widely known that both the Queen and Prince William claimed that they were disappointed about the departure of Meghan and Harry and also about the way in which they had announced their decision. It was quite obvious however that they were aware of the gradually distancing of Harry from the royal family particularly his brother. Yet, despite what is circulating generally, no one can really know what happened – and still happens – behind closed doors. Many believe the damage is done for good but many also express hope their brotherly relationship can redeem itself. One thing is for sure, Harry has certainly had more than William to say on the situation. TW