Harry and William’s reported fallout has only come to light over the last year. The Duke of Sussex appeared to confirm that he and his brother were not as close as they once seemed during an ITV documentary last October. He said they were “on different paths” and then acknowledged they had “good days” and “bad days” in an extraordinary confession.
This fallout is believed to have been exacerbated by Harry and Meghan’s decision to officially quit the Firm in March, as their departure caused a wobble for the whole Royal Family.
Some insiders have traced this quarrel back to when Harry first introduced his then girlfriend Meghan Markle to his brother and his sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, in November 2016.
It’s thought that William told Harry he was rushing into a serious relationship and that he should take it slow — only for the younger royal to push back against such advice he deemed “snobbish”.
Others believe their alleged feud began years before, as Harry felt overshadowed by William and Kate in his role with them on the royal frontline.
However, according to Angela Levin’s book, ‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’ from 2018, there may have been a touch of resentment creeping into their relationship when they were both students at Eton College.
Prince Harry and his brother Prince William
Harry and William were once perceived as inseparable
Ms Levin writes: “Harry did complain once or twice that William wasn’t there for him, but he might have been teasing.
“Even if it was true, William at 15 had barely any more experience of life than Harry did, despite spending years trying to be a parent to their mother.
“It was a grown-up’s job and someone should have picked up that he needed professional help.”
Harry was just 12 when his mother Princess Diana died, and William was 15, meaning they were both incredibly vulnerable during their teen years.
READ MORE: Meghan’s royal theory ‘vindicated by William’s coronavirus scare’
The royal brothers seemed to be exceptionally close for the majority of their childhood
Harry also confessed in 2017 that he had struggled with his mental health ever since his mother’s sudden death in 1997.
Ms Levin noted that the young royal would often act out at school because of his grief.
She explained: “No one person took ultimate responsibility for his welfare. It must have been difficult for him to know whom to turn to for emotional and psychological support.”
In another biography published after Harry and Meghan left royal life behind, ‘Battle of Brothers’, royal commentator Robert Lacey suggests it was William who set his brother onto the path of being the royal rebel.
As he tries to uncover when the brothers’ fight began, Mr Lacey looks back to when Harry first developed a reputation as the party prince.
Yet, it was William who allegedly poured Harry his first shots, introduced him to marijuana at Eton and turned the basement at Highgrove House into a club room.
Prince William ‘optimistic and always believes change is possible’ [INSIGHT]
William ‘could not comprehend’ Harry’s snub to tradition [EXPLAINED]
William ‘motivated by Harry’s heartbreak to have another child’ [EXPOSED]
Royal news: Biographers now believe there was some underlying tension in the brothers’ relationship
Harry and William also endured the loss of their mother Princess Diana when they were 12 and 15
Insiders say Harry started to feel resentment that he — as the spare — was the only one who got the negative headlines, not his brother, who is second-in-line to the throne and therefore more protected by the Palace.
Mr Lacey writes: “By their teens, Harry is coming to resent this typecasting.
“The fact that Prince William is the king of the castle while Harry is seen as the dirty rascal, that he gets the blame for everything.”
However, insiders close to the Duke of Cambridge have disputed this idea that he was not supportive of his younger brother.
Shortly after the Sussexes went public with their plan to leave the Firm in January, William allegedly told a friend that he and his brother were now “separate entities”.
day Times reported that William had confided: “I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that anymore; we’re separate entities.
Harry and William’s relationship is thought to have detoriated even further since Megxit
“I’m sad about that. All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the same team.”
Mr Lacey’s insiders, however, argued that William was far less forgiving than the royals’ friends had been suggesting.
The biographer’s sources implied William was so angry before the Sandringham Summit — where the royals were to hash out the details of Harry’s departure — that he refused to have lunch with his brother and that he had no plans to hang around to help.
Omid Scobie, author of the divisive pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom, also claimed in August that the brothers cut contact completely for two months after the summit.
‘Harry: Conversations with the Prince’ by Angela Levin was published by John Blake Publishing in 2018 and is available here.
‘Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult’ by Robert Lacey, was published by William Collins in 2020 and is available here.