PRINCES William and Harry were thought to be the closest of brothers for many years. But in recent months, this seems to have waned quite dramatically.
At first, it seemed the rumours of a rift between Prince William, 37, and Prince Harry, 34, were just gossip. But as the months went on and their joint appearances dwindled, it became more evident that some truth may lay behind them. The final gesture came as Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, parted ways with William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
Separating their household, offices and charitable work, it became ever clearer to the public that Harry was making the final moves to untangle himself from his older brother.
It was widely reported that the rift was, in fact, between the Duchesses, but their repeated public appearances seemed to dispel that.
The brothers, on the other hand, haven’t been seen together in anything other than an official capacity in months.
At Trooping the Colour this year, Kate rode in a carriage with Harry and Meghan while William went ahead.
Prince William and Harry rift: William and Harry were once thought to be the closest of brothers (Image: Getty)
The competition between the brothers was on full display when they headed opposite teams at the Billingbear Polo Club last week, which William’s team won, although both displayed polite sportsmanship.
But while the root of the problem between the brothers has never been confirmed, many attribute it to Harry’s relationship with Meghan, or perhaps his newfound sense of freedom now that he’s broken away from William and Kate.
One well-placed royal insider, a former staffer of the boys’ father, Prince Charles, revealed it is likely to run much deeper than that.
He said: “William’s quite controlling, and he was in control when it was just the three of them, but now he’s not.
Prince William and Harry rift: The ‘fab four’ before the split (Image: Getty)
Prince William and Harry rift: The brothers playing polo last week (Image: Getty)
“I personally wouldn’t over-egg Meghan’s role in all this because it’s unfair, but equally she knows what she’s doing as an actress from Hollywood.
“She knows all the tricks, she understands the power of social media, and Harry’s getting into all that because he doesn’t much like traditional media either.
“So they’re maxing up their standalone brand. William’s going to have to get used to it.”
In April, the @kensingtonroyal Instagram account, which previously covered the activities of all four, was split and a new @sussexroyal account launched.
Prince William and Harry rift: The three before Harry met Meghan (Image: Getty)
Prince William and Harry rift: Meghan and Kate appear friendly at Wimbledon (Image: Getty)
Prince Charles is said to be “averse” to getting involved with his sons’ relationship, so is trying to stay out of it.
It seems their wives have a similar idea, heading out to with the tennis together this weekend and leaving the men at home.
The Duchesses looked relaxed and friendly as they chatted and watched Meghan’s friend Serena William play.
On Sunday, Kate will attend the men’s final with Prince William, but there will be no sign of Harry.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK