I was honestly surprised that immediately following the royal shenanigans on Commonwealth Day, there wasn’t some immediate reporting on just went down between the Sussexes and Cambridges. I mean, we got Prince William’s version of events, which is that Prince Harry and Meghan were “emotional” at not being including in the royal procession, and Will and Kate selflessly decided to stand down so that Harry and Meghan’s punishment wouldn’t be that notable. I don’t believe that version of events, because nothing lines up there. That doesn’t explain why Kate completely blanked Harry and Meghan and why Harry looked like he was about to throw hands at his entire family. As it turns out, the British press held their best gossip for the Sunday papers. I get that.
What’s been clear for about a year and a half is that Harry and William had a significant and substantial falling out. Again, I do not believe the cover story for their falling out, which is that “wise William” questioned whether Harry was moving too fast with Meghan before the wedding. That’s something from the Willileaks files. Their bigger falling out happened in the fall of 2018, and it was concurrent with the ramped-up smear campaign against Meghan specifically. My belief is that Harry saw and understood that William was behind a big chunk of the smears. I bring all of this up because the Daily Mail did an exhaustive story about how Harry and William’s relationship is as toxic as ever. The DM continues to push a very Willileaks-centered narrative, how curious!! Almost as if William successfully exiled his popular brother and popular sister-in-law and now William is spreading his false narrative to anyone who would listen. You can read the full DM piece here. Some highlights:
W&H’s relationship is worse than ever: Those close to the brothers say things between them are worse than ever. William is said to feel insulted by his brother’s recent comments, including the stream of remarks on Harry and Meghan’s Sussex Royal website, which many have taken as implied criticisms of the Royal Family. William feels his brother has ‘disrespected’ the institution of the monarchy and – most woundingly of all – their grandmother the Queen. Harry, too, is profoundly unhappy, believing he has been cut adrift by his own relatives, convinced that his wife was not made sufficiently welcome, and feeling that his own work has been seen as less important than that of his elder brother. Harry is even said to believe that his infant son Archie has been abandoned by The Firm.
Harry & William’s relationship has been deteriorating for years: For the brothers, once as close as it was possible to be, have been drifting apart since Harry’s Army career was brought to a premature close. And, on Harry’s part at least, the anger has been mounting. Palace aides had hoped that January’s Sandringham summit – the crisis meeting about Harry’s future staged at the Queen’s Norfolk estate – had cleared the air between them. But any hopes of a reconciliation have died.
Harry’s life post-Army: Unable to find a new job suitable for a Prince, Harry is even said to have considered working as a firefighter or a rugby coach. He was growing increasingly irritated, meanwhile, at life on the Royal front line, despite public admiration for the work he undertook with William and Kate. Royal sources say that behind the walls of Kensington Palace, Harry felt he was becoming a third wheel in their shared charitable foundation…But in Harry’s mind, he was not an equal partner. One source says: ‘It didn’t help that whenever he asked the shared staff at Kensington Palace to do something, they were often busy with ‘more important’ work for the Duke of Cambridge, who, after all, will one day be King.’
Harry & Will disagreed about conservation work? The MOS understands there were also heated debates between William and Harry about their differing approaches to conservation work, a major strand of their charitable foundation. ‘They are both very passionate about conservation,’ says the source. ‘But they have very different views on how you protect wildlife in Africa. William thinks the focus should be on community-led initiatives. He thinks you have to teach local communities how to value the wildlife and ensure the local population are empowered to protect the land. Harry believes in a more hands-on approach to genuinely protect areas.’
Meghan made it worse? It seems Meghan’s arrival only exacerbated Harry’s fears that his work, and now that of his fiancee – a self-styled activist and campaigner – was not being taken as seriously as that of his brother. Some suggest that Meghan encouraged Harry to believe his feelings of disquiet were not only legitimate but should be acted upon. Meghan’s many ideas for projects bamboozled Palace aides, who were not used to this new way of operating, with early-morning emails and a non-stop stream of suggestions and requests. One aide described it as a ‘different type of work culture that no one was prepared for’.
William was “growing in status” as the Sussexes felt raw from the smears: [Last fall] William had been steadily growing in status, attending meetings with the Queen and Prince Charles to discuss the great transition – when William will become Prince of Wales and assume control of the Duchy of Cornwall estate. Harry’s presence was rarely required at these conferences. William had studied agriculture and would receive briefings on running the 130,000-acre Duchy that has an annual income of £24 million. No doubt it was also a reminder to Harry that the Duchy estate would make William a very wealthy man, while Harry would be reliant on a less generous income. ‘When Harry gave the interview about being on a different path to his brother, I don’t think anyone in the Palace was surprised,’ an aide says. ‘One [brother] is going to be King and the other is not and therefore has to figure out what that [life] looks like.’ Another Royal source says: ‘It didn’t help that William never let Harry forget which of them was going to be King.’
Harry should have stayed in the Army? A source close to the family says: ‘Harry has always been looking for signs that he belongs, but soon all he could see – I think wrongly – were signs that told him he wasn’t needed. He should have taken his father’s advice and stayed in the military. Leaving the Army was the worst thing he could have done.’
It was my understanding – at the time and to this day – that the Queen, Charles, William and all of the courtiers told Harry that he could no longer be in the Army. His military career had gotten to the point where he would either have to go all-in and make a decade-long commitment to military service and basically step away from “royal work,” OR he would “step up” as a full-time royal. You have to also remember that this was 2015, when William and Kate were Peak Workshy and the courtiers and the family wanted Harry to end his military career so that at least one of the younger generation was actually doing work. And while this was *suspiciously* not mentioned in the Mail’s story, at the time, Harry was already knee-deep in planning the Invictus Games when he quit the Army (the first Invictus Games were July 2015).
Anyway, this story was just Willileaks gloating, honestly. William doesn’t give a sh-t that he did irreparable damage to his relationship with his brother. William doesn’t give a sh-t that he smeared Harry and Meghan to the point where exile was the only option. William thinks that he now gets to run the narrative about everything. Don’t let him.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.