Although Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have stepped back from their duties as members of the royal family, they’re still part of the royal family. Just like any other family, the royal family does see plenty of turmoil, including a reported rift between Harry and his older brother, Prince William, that dates back to 2017. According to a report from People, the brothers did not leave things in a good place during the recent departure of Harry and his wife from the U.K.
“They didn’t leave on good terms by any means, but they are both relieved that it’s over,” a family friend told the magazine.
The source added that Harry and William have been speaking more often in recent weeks, something which has led to some hope that they can still repair their relationship.
“Perhaps [Meghan and Harry] didn’t think things through exactly as they could have, but they wanted to be happy,” the family friend added. “Who can blame them for that?”
William and Harry’s purported feud started when William allegedly suggested that Harry take things slowly with Meghan Markle. William is said to have believed that Harry was moving too fast, and Harry apparently left the confrontation angry and hurt. Now, Harry and Meghan are splitting their time between the United Kingdom and Canada, which means that they’ll see the other royals far less frequently than they used to.
In 2019, People reported that the brothers weren’t spending much time together outside of official royal appearances. Sources at the time suggested that, because of William’s long relationship with Kate Middleton before his proposal, he had encouraged his brother to move slowly with Meghan. Harry had been dating Meghan for less than a year when he announced his plan to propose.
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The report also suggested that, because the brothers have their own families, they had much less time to spend with each other. While disagreement over Harry’s relationship with Meghan may account for some of the seeming tension, the brothers also grew apart from one another as they took different paths in life. Reports suggest that as William prepared for his eventual responsibilities as king, Harry had to consider what his own future would look like.
William was also involved in the meetings that were held immediately after Harry and Meghan announced their plans to step back from the royal family. Along with Prince Charles and the queen, the family came up with an arrangement that allowed the couple to step back in exchange for a renunciation of their royal titles — and an agreement to pay for the renovations that they ordered for Frogmore Cottage.