There’s a fascinating section in Finding Freedom where the “falling out” between Prince Harry and Prince William is analyzed through the issue of funding from Prince Charles. Before the Sussexes briefly had their own office in Buckingham Palace, they were clearly unhappy with sharing the same office with the Cambridges at Kensington Palace. No surprise there, since Harry was convinced (rightly) that William’s people were throwing him under the bus. The separation of the Sussexes and the Cambridges’ offices was seen as a necessity to give the brothers some breathing room, although Harry and Meghan’s desire to have a completely independent office was vetoed, and they were given space at Buckingham Palace. Prince Charles was (and is) still largely funding both of his sons AND their work, even if one brother’s work is practically nonexistent.
Prince Charles, who funds many of his own public, charitable and private activities through the revenues of his private estate, the Duchy of Cornwall, “controlled the purse strings,” which also caused some of the issues between William and Harry. The brothers sometimes had to vie for additional funds for projects from their father, who also helped cover expenses related to Camilla and some of those for his sons (including Kate and Meghan’s wardrobes). “They actually genuinely have to debate who gets what amount of money from their father to fund their projects,” an aide said. “Add in the fact that there is an inherent hierarchy and that is really tricky.”
“While Charles may be a father to Harry, he’s also their boss, and that makes their relationship complex for a number of reasons,” a source added. “Charles is extremely focused on his public image, and there have been times Harry has felt that has taken precedence over everything else.”
Harry wasn’t the only one who had a complicated relationship with the Prince of Wales. “The boys can be hot and cold with their father,” disclosed a source, who gave the example of planning the photo session for Charles’s seventieth birthday, which they called “an absolute nightmare.”
“Neither William nor Harry made much of an effort to make themselves available,” the source said.
A second aide, who had been involved in meetings on the brothers’ futures, explained, “Where you are born in this family dictates your position of power, and because of that, Harry has always come second to his brother, especially when it comes to funding. There were times in the past that Harry wanted to take on bigger projects and do more work, but he couldn’t get the money to support it. William was always the priority. A lot of their quarrels have been over budgets. That’s what happens when you are in business with your family.”
Before Meghan came around, it was always said that both Harry and William had a tricky relationship with their father, not so much because of money, but because of Charles’ focus on “his public image” even if that means throwing his sons under the bus as well. Meghan was said to have smoothed things over between Harry and Charles, and then William got jealous and suddenly he wanted to be close to Charles too. It was a smart move on Charles’ part to play his two sons against each other, although clearly, Charles unleashed something he couldn’t control. And at least we now know that from the jump, Harry and Meghan’s good ideas and work plans were vetted and vetoed by Charles, because William’s lazy ways took precedence.
FF goes on to say that despite Charles giving William a structural and monetary advantage, “Harry and Meghan were already propelling the monarchy to new heights around the world. The Sussexes had made the monarchy more relatable to those who had never before felt a connection,” and behind-the-scenes, courtiers were debating about whether the Sussexes should be brought further “into the fold” so they wouldn’t eclipse the monarchy itself.
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