A few months into Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle, William took him aside to express concern about the pace of their relationship. He told Harry to take as much time as he needed for them to get to know each other, but the Duke of Sussex was reportedly offended by the conversation, especially William’s use of the phrase “this girl”. In the months after William expressed his concerns, Harry stopped visiting and the pair barely spoke, according to the recent book ‘Finding Freedom’ by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand.
Not only did this mean the brothers were not seeing each other, but also Harry did not see Kate or the children.
Harry used to walk across Kensington Palace bringing gifts for his niece and nephew, but by summer 2017 he had practically stopped seeing them at all.
The authors wrote: “In the months after William talked to Harry about the relationship, the two hardly spoke.
“The brothers went from always making time for each other to barely spending any time together.
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“Harry had always loved popping across the grounds of the Palace to see George and Charlotte, bringing them gifts that included an electric SUV for his nephew and a tricycle for Charlotte.
“But those visits came to a virtual halt by that summer of 2017.”
What’s more, Prince Louis, who was born in April 2018, got to spend a lot less time with Harry than his older siblings, because the tension had grown so much by the time of his birth.
According to Finding Freedom, the lack of contact was coming from both sides.
Harry and Meghan have since stepped down as senior royals and moved to the US with Archie
Not only did Harry stop dropping by to see the children, but he also stopped receiving invitations from William and Kate.
While the feud was mainly between the brothers, Kate reportedly did little to diffuse the situation.
The authors explained that she was “fiercely loyal” to her husband and family, despite the close relationship she had developed with Harry over the years.
What’s more, Meghan and Kate never developed a bond either.
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Finding Freedom was published in August
Finding Freedom explained that, while they were close in age, they met each other at different points in their lives and in their journey with the Royal Family.
The authors wrote: “Kate has been embedded in the Royal Family ever since she met William [at university].
“A mother of three (and mother of the heir to the throne), her life revolved around family and duty to monarchy and country.
“Kate and Meghan came from different backgrounds and have had vastly different life experiences.
“Kate was never interested in having a career, while that was always a driver for Meghan.”
The two Duchesses are also said to have different personalities; Kate was “shy and quiet”, while Meghan is an extravert.
While William was not the only one to voice concerns about Harry’s relationship with Meghan, Harry was fiercely defensive of his girlfriend, who is now his wife.
A close friend told Mr Scobie and Ms Durand: “He’s extremely protective of Meghan.
“He understands that a lot of people are against them, and he will do everything he can to keep her safe and away from getting hurt ‒ even if that means distancing himself from those people.”
Now that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex live in the US, it seems increasingly likely that their son Archie will not get to know his cousins or aunt and uncle as well as they might have hoped.
‘Finding Freedom’ was written by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand and published by Dey Street Books in August 2020. It is available here.