Prince William Breaks Silence On ‘Sadness’ He Feels About Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Stepping Back

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at a public event.
Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Prince William is opening up for the first time about the “sadness” he feels about his brother’s decision to step back from royal duties, saying he hopes they will one day reconcile.

The Duke of Cambridge spoke to the Sunday Times in an exclusive interview, saying that he was sad at the decision of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to “step back” as senior members of the royal family. William said it will be difficult knowing that he will no longer be as close to his brother.

“I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that anymore…I’m sad about that,” Prince William said.

William’s statement came after reports that the royal family was blindsided by the announcement and that Harry’s father, Prince Charles, was filled with rage at their decision. As the New York Post’s Page Six reported, Harry and Meghan did not give the royal family a heads up before the announcement was made.

There had long been rumors that there was a growing rift between William and Harry, which only grew wider in recent months.

William will likely be quite far from his brother in the coming years. Harry and Meghan announced this week that they would be pulling back from official royal duties and splitting time between England and North America. As the BBC reported, there is already speculation that the couple could be settling into one of the major Canadian cities, including Toronto, where Meghan once worked.

In the official announcement, the couple said that they needed separation for their family.

“This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter,” the statement read.

In his interview, Prince William expressed hope that they might be reunited.

“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 team,” he said.

There may be a chance to find some common ground before Harry and Meghan make their move. The New York Post noted that the royal family has a meeting planned this week at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, England, to discuss what will come next and possibly smooth over any tensions that arose after the announcement.