Prince William & Harry’s broken brotherly bond is the focus of yet another book

09-03-2020   Commonwealth Day Celebrations  Westminster Abbey 2020...

It’s very curious that the British tabloids keep discussing all of the *other* royal books coming out at some point. Almost like a preemptive deflection from Finding Freedom, the upcoming book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Interesting to see the advanced hype for these books, especially when there’s not even an Amazon preorder page too. I have to think that Robert Lacey’s Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – the Friendship and the Feuds will end up being massively inconsequential, especially since it comes out in October and Finding Freedom comes out in August. FF will have Harry’s version of events, especially in regards to what William did or did not do 2017-2020. Battle of Brothers sounds like it will just repeat the same old bullsh-t stories which the British tabloids have been trying to push for years.

The ‘once unbreakable’ bond between Prince William and Prince Harry has suffered a ‘devastating breakdown’ in the past 18 months – making it the most profound conflict between an heir and spare for a generation, an explosive new book claims. Biographer Robert Lacey, a historical consultant for Netflix’s The Crown as well as the author of Majesty, a 1977 study of Queen Elizabeth, has penned Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – the Friendship and the Feuds, set to be released in October.

He told how he was ‘astonished’ and ‘sometimes moved to tears’ by the fresh details of the rift that emerged while he was researching the conflict. The book explores conflicts that emerge as a result of the heir and the spare dynamic that permeates British aristocracy, and claims that the ‘seeds of damage were sown’ when William and Harry’s parents’ marriage unravelled.

It will also delve into how the relationship between the two brothers has been impacted by their wives – Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, both 38 – and claims to offer more detail on why the Sussexes chose to quit as senior members of the Royal Family and move to Los Angeles with their son Archie, one.

In a press release seen by People, Lacey said: ‘These two brothers – once inseparable and now separated by much more than mere distance – have been acting out the contradictions that go back into their childhoods and even before that: into their parents’ ill-fated marriage. We have seen conflicts between heir and spare in every recent generation of the royal family — but nothing so profound as this.’

He added that writing the book was both ‘painful and enthralling’, admitting: ‘I have been astonished and sometimes moved to tears by the fresh details and insights I have discovered in researching this story of family conflict. It has been both enthralling and painful to trace this drama through the memories of close witnesses and some of the people most intimately involved.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Unless Lacey plans to go beyond the Kensington and Buckingham Palace scripts, we can predict what the book will say: William the Wise patiently told “emotional, depressed, fragile” Harry to slow his roll with an American divorcee, Harry told his brother to stuff it and thus the brotherly bond was broken. Curious then why William only really began the smear campaign in earnest in the fall of 2018, soon after Harry and Meghan’s popularity on their South Pacific tour was evident. Unless the “battle of brothers” will call out William’s pettiness, his jealousy, his immaturity and his PR shenanigans, let’s not bother.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at service to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force on 10/07/2018

Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid and Avalon Red.

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42 Responses to “Prince William & Harry’s broken brotherly bond is the focus of yet another book”

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  1. Ginger says:

    Robert isn’t a RR and is more of a historian. He has defended Meghan and approves of them leaving. When him and Angela Levin were interviewed regarding H&M leaving , he was putting Angela in her place. He also hates the British press. I may read this.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      I do think that it is interesting that he refers to the heir and spare dynamic that has impacted several generations of the BRF, especially the relationship between Elizabeth and Margaret. I do think this dynamic is toxic in a familial sense, even though it is an integral part of the royal hierarchy – and I think that it is a dynamic that can be extra stressful and conflict-ridden when there only is two children. So I hope that he will put the break-down in the relationship between the brothers in a larger context.

      I honestly think that the rigid hierarchy that is such an integral part a monarchy can be extremely damaging on a purely familial level – especially if family members throw around their rank in private, which seems to be something that the BRF is especially prone to – and which I think has a lot to do with the Queen Mother (and possibly Queen Mary).

      • Becks1 says:

        This is what makes me think the book could be interesting. I’m thinking it will be less about gossip and more about the heir vs spare dynamic. I think the fact that he traces it back to their parents marriage is interesting, since Diana was so vocal about NOT wanting the heir/spare treatment for the boys. You have to wonder if things would be different if she had lived. But she died, and her death seemed to bring the boys a lot closer, which probably also shifted the dynamic a bit as they got older and the heir/spare narrative was reinforced.

        Like Kaiser said, if this is all about “William warned Harry he was moving too fast,” then it’s going to be very meh. But if its less gossip-y and more nuanced, it could be interesting. I probably wont buy it though.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        TQ Mother has a lot to answer for with the dysfunction of that family – she was bitter woman who loved being Queen and then QM.

        She like CEO Kate, had a thing for her BIL – story is thats the real reason she hated Wallis.

      • Bella DuPont says:

        Even if William warned Harry that he thought the relationship was moving too fast, they got over that hurdle, because Harry still had William as his best man at his wedding. The fallout must have happened after the wedding.

      • Molly says:

        They don’t raise the spares properly. Margaret had minimal education, Andrew was spoiled rotten, Harry was sent to Eton to be with Will and barely graduated.

        When Diana died, we got a pr story that the Queen had weekly teas with William. What about doing something like phone calls or letters with Harry? It shows their thinking that they stress the Queen paying attention to the heir and forget about the spare.

      • Em says:

        I don’t get the impression that this is going to be a gossipy book, repeating tabloid info either. I’m thinking (and really hoping) that this is going to be a neutral and objective look at the situation, which so far hasn’t happened anywhere.

      • Mary says:

        @Bella Dupont, hopefully your question (did a big post-wedding fallout happen?) will be answered by yet another book due out this fall that seems to be friendly toward Meghan and will address some kind of “disturbing drama” that happened shortly after the wedding and, per the author, explains in part why she seemed upset in the Africa documentary.

        Ftr, I don’t think that William asked Harry to slow things down with Meghan. The initial reports were that he told Harry that Meghan was not suitable as a royal bride. That sounds more to me like what William would say (and is what Philip allegedly said – you don’t marry actresses).

        I think the RR keeps repeating the “slow down” narrative because they and KP want that one to stick in people’s minds (as opposed to the “unsuitable” narrative).

        I also don’t think Harry wanted William as his best man. I think that the RF expected it to happen (that “united front” cr*p). Remember how Harry’s best man was not confirmed as William until quite late?

    • February-Pisces says:

      @beck1 you know when the press keep repeating this ‘William warned harry he was going too fast” it’s so ridiculous cos they had already been together for atleast 2 years by the time they got married. Plus couples in their thirties tend to move a lot quicker because they don’t have as much time to start a family. I’m sick of that narrative, I can think of several couple the same age that have the same timeline.

      @arthistorian all the spares over the last 3 generations have been a hell of a lot more charismatic and posses more star quality that the heir. Margret and Harry outshone their older and more important siblings by a mile. Back in the 60s it was Margaret that got all the press attention not Betty. Even Andrew was described as a ‘heartthrob’ compared to charmed in the 80 (urgh 🤮 at the thought). Also all these spares seemed to be the favourite child too. According the the crown Margaret was their father’s favourite, and obviously pedi Andy is the queen no1 child. And I have a feeling harry may have been subconsciously the favourite too with Charles and Diana, although I don’t think Diana would have let it show as much, sh may have just babied him because he was the youngest.

      With Charlotte being the spare to George maybe it will break the pattern as mixed siblings aren’t as competitive as the sibling they are the same gender to.

      I will always remember this from conversation between lord snowdon and princess Margaret in the crown:
      LS: younger sister…older sister…. number 1 and number 2.
      PM: who’s number 1?
      LS: YOU…..and she knows it.
      PM: yes…I think she does.

      • Elena Rindell says:

        “I will always remember this from conversation between lord snowdon and princess Margaret in the crown:
        LS: younger sister…older sister…. number 1 and number 2.
        PM: who’s number 1?
        LS: YOU…..and she knows it.
        PM: yes…I think she does.”

        I remember that too. And I remember thinking that it definitely applies to Harry and William. William knows his brother is more popular and Meghan took that popularity to the stratosphere and it kills him hence the smear campaign. Let us see how it will unfold.

      • February-Pisces says:

        @elena Randall, yes I though of William and Harry too. William knows he’s the number 2 in everything, except order of birth.

      • Calibration says:

        The Crown may be well researched but these ‘conversations’ are still fan fiction. The Crown isn’t completely accurate, and it’s just the writers /producers view or the view they wish to present. It’s not a documentary.

      • ArtHistorian says:


        Thank you! I see people referencing The Crown here all the time and repeating stuff from it without realizing the extent of the fictionalizing. Case in point, the Princess Margaret/Peter Townsend affair. A deal had actually been worked out whereby Margaret could retain her royal status and public money but she simply changed her mind regarding the marriage during their time apart. There’s documentation on this and the story presented in The Crown is pure fiction.

    • Islandgirl says:

      Actually he was the first person I saw that referred to a meeting that the Queen called with the brothers prior to the actual “summit” and he said that William did not turn up.

      So I am really intrested in his book.

      • FicklePickle says:

        Well, there’s a +1 to my theory that Will is just always doing whatever the hell he wants and leaves the mess there for Charles and Queenie to deal with.

        I can’t wait to see this book as well.

  2. VS says:

    question for the group: I thought the role of the RF was to use their platform for charitable work……..why are almost all articles written by gossipers look like “gossips about their life not their work?”

    I think maybe Meghan got this wrong; she thought it would be about using her platform to work but maybe it was all about her private life…………why don’t we have investigative type journalism looking into effectiveness of the RF work? their foundation? like we have in the US with the White House correspondents? well, at least H&M will be properly covered now by the US press

    • ABritGuest says:

      Good question VS. That is why the Queen ensures the royal rota is dominated by right wing media. They don’t want real interrogation, they want propaganda which newspapers like the Mail& Sun are experts at. They’ve ensured the royal family’s place is mainly soap opera for the masses& it’s effectiveness isn’t questioned as long as they do what the media likes eg the Queen keeping quiet, family providing pics of kiddies to sell papers.

      I remember one of the complaints with Meghan when duchess difficult rumours started was working too hard. Ridiculous complaint for publicly funded person but speaks to mentality of the people who cover royals & structure in place.

      Robert Lacey has made good points but has denied racism in Meghan’s coverage& pushed Sussexit as Meghan’s decision alone. I was hopeful for more about courtiers machinations with the press& details from the Times Shipman piece about discussions with govt to carve out a role for the Sussexes away from UK, but I suspect he won’t upset relationship with courtiers. So focus will probably be sibling rivalry gone wrong with Harry cast in the Margaret role struggling with his lack of importance.

    • Geraldine Granger says:

      @VS- exactly! Where are the investigative journalists? What is the actual power of someone like William? He can deny access to himself, but what is the power that keeps him safe?

      • Molly says:

        People or their bosses want to be awarded honors and be invited to parties and get school and job recommendations for their children so they’re not going to upset the Establishment. Why stick their neck out instead of playing the game so their kid can go to Eton?

    • Ainsley7 says:

      The role of the royal family is to represent the UK. It’s purely a PR job for everyone except the Queen who does have other job requirements. They are meant to promote all things British. British goods, British traditions, British people and British charities. Charity work tends to get them better PR than the promotion of goods, traditions or people. The Queen actually doesn’t approve of how Will, Kate, and Harry did Heads Together. She thinks charity should be limited to polo games and expensive dinners. The only reason she supported the Invictus Games is because the government backed the endeavor.

      • Dee says:

        You could hire plenty of smart, kind, worthy people to do PR for the UK for the price of maintaining the royals. Start by making the royals pay a fair rent for their homes. When they vacate, open up the spaces as museums, event spaces, charity offices. Downsize their budgets until they all find jobs. Let one person keep the role as figurehead, doing whatever royal paperwork still needs to be done.

    • Marjorie says:

      VS – Charles and Anne do that, they use their status to promote charities and English stuff. Edward and Sophie too, to some extent. But ten years into being Duke and Duchess, Wills and his CEO do essentially nothing but occupy expensive space. Why nobody investigates that is an interesting question.

  3. Lara says:

    Why don’t they write a book about the fall out between Charles and Andrew because Andrew is a sex criminal? Ohhh

    • FicklePickle says:

      Actually, I think the falling out probably predates Andrew’s sexual predator nature becoming apparent to his family. He’s been making huge scenes, dodgy deals with shady Sheiks, and just generally being a complete ass and an utterly humiliating representative of Queenie and the UK for decades.

      What’s even worse is that he had been very indiscreet about it and brought more public scrutiny down on the BRF’s finances and operations. Unforgivable.

  4. Rae says:

    Honestly, I’ve got little interest in buying a book that is just going to be another hash of whispered conjectures, no different to what we read in papers.

  5. Bettyrose says:

    That top pic should lay to rest any skepticism over Harry’s parentage. For better or worse, Charles is his father.

    • Enny says:

      I’ve thought for a while that Harry is the spitting image of young Prince Philip (just with red hair). So yes, there’s a lot of Charles’ lineage in his face – just more Mountbatten than Windsor…

      • bettyrose says:

        I just googled that, and it’s funny, I don’t see a huge resemblance when you look at Harry or Philip individually, but in side by side pics it’s all there. They have the same face in black and white. Add color and the coloring is different, as well as the personalities that come through, so it’s not as obvious.

  6. Harla says:

    I’m having doubts about the supposed fact that William telling Harry to pump the brakes on his relationship is the reason for this feud. I’m getting a strong feeling this “reason “ is just a smoke screen to cover something else, what I don’t know but I don’t think it’s this.

    • Harper says:

      It would be nice to see some reporting that says the feud devolved into petty one-upmanship when famously private Wills and his family were photographed taking a commercial jet to Balmoral in the midst of public criticism of Harry and Meghan’s use of private planes. It feels like lazy reporting to me. Sure, Wills told Harry to go slow, but Wills and Harry looked okay by the time the wedding came around.

    • Molly says:

      I think the royals were secretly leading the smear campaign and gaslighting Harry and Meghan that the abuse was because they moved too fast. That shows how there could be a kernel of truth there and why Harry would be upset.

      Something happened for money to be provided so Harry and Meghan could separate their offices when William and Kate clearly didn’t want that.

    • Ginger says:

      Yeah, it definitely has to be more. Something like that would annoy Harry but I don’t think he would start a feud with him over it.

      It’s most definitely more and sinister.

      • Harla says:

        I agree Ginger and am wondering if, when the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex put out that joint statement in response to the article that the Sussex’s left due to William’s “bullying attitude”, that was the reason because as it’s been said before, the royals only deny something when it’s true.

    • S808 says:

      The fact that they keep on insisting that was the reason they fell out leads me to believe it’s not the real reason but the one they want to the public to buy into. William telling Harry to slow down is not what jump started all of this. William was fine with Meghan at the time of the wedding and shortly after. The Oceania tour set everything off and snowballed from there as problems arose (I.e. the affair, Meghan’s first project, her pregnancy and probably finding out the palace/media weaponized her father against her, to name a few).

      • Becks1 says:

        I definitely don’t think William told Harry to slow down – well, maybe he did, but that’s not the cause of the feud. Harry may have been annoyed, but he probably got over it. They seemed fine at the wedding, and the few other times we saw them together before the Oceania tour. Kate was the one who didn’t seem fine (remember William telling her to move aside on the balcony so Meghan could see?)

        I think the combination of the Oceania tour and the pregnancy triggered the Cambridges big time, and I know William is the favorite target on here, but I think Kate was ESPECIALLY triggered .

    • Enny says:

      If there is even a grain of truth to that story, I imagine it was phrased more like “one doesn’t marry the biracial divorced actress from America, if you must, keep her as your mistress, but marrying her is just not the done thing”

      But even that wouldn’t be enough for this kind of fracture in a once close sibling relationship. $hit really hit the fan much later, after the wedding, as others have pointed out, around the Sussexes’ Oceania tour.

    • StartupSpouse says:

      I think the simplest explanation is jealousy.

      H&M are everything that W&K are not: charismatic, caring, articulate, graceful, and passionate. I think I read somewhere that charities were requesting H&M over W&K.

      I imagine the conversation within the courtiers was something like, “outshining the FFK is not something that is done,” and a brutal smear campaign ensued to ensure H&M stayed in their lane. W did nothing to protect H&M, and in fact fueled the fire if not participated directly. (I also think W is jealous because H married someone he really loves, rather than someone who stuck around long enough.)

      W’s jealousy drove him to backstab his brother and attempt to destroy his marriage. I’d quit my sibling too.

  7. taylor says:

    I think people should really caution against declaring that FF will be Harry and Meghan’s side of the story. We have no idea what’s in that book and how it will be spun.

  8. February-Pisces says:

    I agree with what kaiser says, unless this book lays out exactly how and why William decided to smear his brother in a 3 year hate campaign, then I’m not interested. We all know what William has been doing to harry, this isn’t a two sided battle, it was a one sided attack. Harry had no control over what his brother was going to him. Even if this book is balanced to lay the blame on both sides, even that isn’t fair.

  9. Marigold says:

    I always think how sad Diana would have been to see how things ended up between her sons. She loved them so much and wanted something different for them. I believe that she would be happy for Harry. William might have turned out better had she lived.

    • SomeChick says:

      I agree that Diana would be proud of Harry for how he has used his position and platform to do actual good, and how he cares about and connects with people. He’s worked for her particular causes such as land mine eradication.

      Harry has stepped up and all it has gotten him from the british royal “family” has been grief.

      I’m sure she’d be brokenhearted about the current state of affairs.

      Before anyone comes at me with “Diana wasn’t a saint” – I’m not saying that. There are no real saints. But this is some horse manure!

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Of course she’d be heartbroken that her son got the same treatment from the Firm that she got because they didn’t like his wife and he stood by her. Any decent parent would. I think Diana had a LOT of issues and damage from both her childhood and her marriage – and I think that she made some very questionable decisions towards the end of her life, but she was fundamentally a decent and caring person.