Tom Bradby: William & Harry’s relationship became difficult over the past 18 months

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Tom Bradby is an ITV journalist who traditionally covers straight news and politics. Years ago, he developed friendships with both Prince William and Prince Harry, and so now Bradby is sort of known for doing “royal coverage,” which seems to annoy him to no end. Bradby accompanied Prince Harry and Meghan on their African tour in the fall of 2019, and Bradby interviewed both of them for ITV’s exclusive documentary about the tour. In the documentary, Meghan welled up with tears as she spoke on camera about how difficult the year had been. Post-Sussexit, it’s also clear that Harry is still in communication with Bradby and Bradby has given interviews where he describes the more “pro-Sussex” side to the story. All of which has led Prince William to cut off Bradby’s access to Kensington Palace, because Baldingham is a giant suck-baby who can’t stand it when people are friendly or sympathetic to his brother. Anyway, Bradby spoke to the Times of London and he ended up speaking about the royal stuff.

On his own mental health struggles: Addressing the documentary in his interview with The Times, Bradby said it was his own mental health struggle that helped him notice that the Sussexes were struggling. Bradby had to take lengthy time off from hosting News at Ten in 2018 after suffering what he dubbed a ‘mental health equivalent of a heart attack’. He said: ‘[I] was clearly influenced by my own experience and I didn’t think they were in great shape, and so I altered the way I was planning to do the documentary.’ He said he ‘felt like there was an untold story’ behind Meghan’s public image, so he asked her the question: ‘Are you OK?’.

On the war between William and Harry: When pressed on whether the South Africa documentary, and the insight into the royal rift that followed, increased his stress, Bradby said: ‘Well, it used to be quite a straightforward thing, right, because they weren’t arguing and life was simple. And then it just slowly descended into something that was difficult – personally and publicly – really over the past year and a half.’

Bradby doesn’t like to cover royals: Bradby also said princes are “my least favourite subject in the world” and if you had to build society from scratch you wouldn’t include a monarchy though “monarchy plays quite a valuable part”. “It champions public service ideals, which is what we most admire about ourselves as a society,” he said.

The Dan Wootton article about William’s distrust of Bradby: A royal insider revealed: ‘The friendship between William and Tom is very much over. The Duke feels let down by Bradby and the way he’s acted over the past few months. William is a sensitive soul and believes it’s in times of crisis when you find out who your true friends are. It would be fair to say Bradby hasn’t been one of them. The Duke will, of course, remain cordial and professional in his relations with senior media figures, but that special relationship he once had with Bradby is no more. William no longer sees him as a friend.’

Senior aides are mad too: Among senior royal aides, there is growing anger at the way Bradby and ITV News seem to have become a mouthpiece for Harry and Meghan’s gripes about the Royal Family. The royal source said: ‘Some staff at the Palaces are even angrier about Bradby and the tone of his reporting at ITV News, which they consider to be pro-Harry and Meghan. It’s well-known Bradby personally communicates with Harry on a regular basis and that is pretty obvious to royal aides who know how things work. But it’s been very difficult to accept given the long history between Bradby and William.’

[From The Daily Mail]

In the original Times piece (which is paywalled), Bradby apparently denied the story where he was somehow responsible for ensuring that ITV bought the rights to the Oprah interview. Which makes sense – I mean, different channels wanted to secure the rights, and it was likely a matter of money, as opposed to “ITV’s top journalist pulls strings to ensure his network purchases an American interview.”

As for what Bradby says… I get the feeling that he thinks royal coverage is somewhat beneath him as a journalist and he’s right? It makes more sense to think of Bradby’s interest in the royal story as more about his personal connection to Harry, his general compassion and the acknowledgement that the Windsors are “the news” too. Bradby doesn’t want to be part of the story, but now William and the Windsor communications team have made him part of the story, so here we are.

Royal visit to Africa - Day Five

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry visit Auwal Mosque in Cape Town

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and Getty.

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47 Responses to “Tom Bradby: William & Harry’s relationship became difficult over the past 18 months”

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  1. Cecilia says:

    I think the relationship between harry & william has been deteriorating before 2018. If there ever really was a close relationship to begin with. In sure harry loves his brother, simply because thats his brother and because harry is a good human. But when in the army he spent a good deal outside of the UK and i think as adults they simply weren’t as close as people think they were

    • Monica Q says:

      I agree. I think being in the Army showed Harry what life was like outside of all the comfy amenities of being a Royal and introduced him to regular people on a constant basis. William’s never had that; he stays in his posh circles and uses “commoners” as props when it suits him.

    • Harla says:

      I agree that Will and Harry haven’t been close for years, they really are just 2 different people with different ways of living. Also, Will and Kate lived for years in Wales and Norfolk while Harry was mostly in London so it wouldn’t have been easy to pop around for a chat.

    • Nic919 says:

      William wanted Harry to serve him and when Harry wanted a life of his own William got mad. That’s not how adult relationships should work but then when you have the Windsor prioritizing birth order instead of being a fully developed adult, this is what you get.

      Harry was living his own life for years despite the media pretending otherwise. Harry was in Afghanistan and was rarely in the UK and he wasn’t hanging out with Billy and Cathy except for the public engagements. The reality is that the brothers being close was always a myth perpetuated by the media because it made William look better instead of the petulant baby that he actually is.

    • Courtney B says:

      Harry loves his brother—he’s said so in the Bradby and Oprah interviews. I think he just doesn’t like him very much.

  2. Woke says:

    He’s right any serious journalist would consider royal coverage a downgrade. But in the context of what happened during the past few years where misinformation, racism, mental health issues, xenophobia played a role in the royal coverage I don’t think it’s true anymore.

    • Jais says:

      💯 this! Am really waiting for a journalist to deep dive more into everything you just mentioned. Some have but not enough IMO.

      • L84Tea says:

        I’m really hoping one day there will be a very in-depth documentary made about what went down these last few years, because it’s really such a bigger, more complex story than just “jealousy, blah blah…” Ronan Farrow needs to get on it.

    • equality says:

      Don’t forget the abuse of power to protect and accrue personal wealth.

  3. Petra says:

    I was glad Tom Bradby asked that question, and Duchess Meghan Markle answered truthfully.

  4. Monica Q says:

    I guess it’s like how Patrick Stewart once thought Star Trek was a little “low-rent” to him because he was a Shakespearian Act-or and here he is doing this sci-fi American show. Bradby probably wants to be known for his journalism in other areas, not just the royal family. But I can’t blame him, like you said.

    William sounds like such a middle school mean girl in this. “You talked to him so you’re no longer my friend! Harumph! Now let me go change my AIM Away Message to something passive aggressive.” He needs to just accept that he’s now “The Other Brother” in the eyes of a lot of the rest of the world outside of the UK and move on.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I imagine any journalist worth their salt probably thinks royal coverage is “beneath them” – or at least what amounts to royal coverage in the UK – because you are basically just writing gossip or functioning as a stenographer of sorts for the royal family. How boring must it be to have to write the same story about Kate every month? We joke about it here but if I was a reporter and had to write yet another story about how keen Kate was I would go insane.

    There are real stories there in terms of the royals but they’re buried or shut down or not even looked at so “royal coverage” in the UK is basically just…well, we see it here every day. I would love to see some journalists really investigate some of their shady financial dealings, or really do a deep dive into Andrew, or William (i.e. could you imagine a story exposing his bullying behavior?) But that won’t happen bc the press and the royals have the toxic relationship that they have.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Becks1, I wonder when Bradby retires if he’ll write a book about these past years? I doubt he could do that now, but would the palace have much of a hold on him once he retires? He’s already an author, and he has been in a good position to have seen a lot. I also think that he’s more than capable to do investigative journalism. The question is whether he would want to. It would much different from being a “royal reporter”, so it might appeal to him?

      • Becks1 says:

        It might appeal to him, but I think he would have issues getting it published. Remember someone on here said that Lacey’s book got significantly edited before it was published. Someone on Twitter shared that they had a book on the verge of being released and one of the story lines was a prince involved in an affair……and it got pulled right before it was released after legal threats.

        Honestly the British royals hold on the press and publishing is insane and I want THAT story written…..

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Becks1, I wonder if he would self publish and sell on Amazon?

    • Sure says:

      I want a real journalist to do a deep dive into William’s COVID episode – so many unanswered questions regarding that cover-up.

  6. Jais says:

    “William is a sensitive soul” comes across as really patronizing and that’s from Dan Wooton? Lol for days.

    Also the fact that ITV is pro-Sussex seems really laughable. Is it just because they aired the interview and Bradby works there? I’ve listened to their royal podcast a few times and Lizzie Robinson does not seem pro-sussex at all by any means and Chris Ship tries to seem neutral but often falls back on media narratives like but privacy and how dare they leak to Gayle King. Pro-Sussex just means anything less than 100% fealty which is gross.

    • booboocita says:

      He’s sensitive in the way that Chucky is sensitive: self-pitying and whiny, acutely conscious of his own sufferings and callous when it comes to anyone else’s, and furious with anyone who pulls attention away from him.

    • Carmen-JamRock says:

      “William is a sensitive soul” comes across as really patronizing and that’s from Dan Wooton? Lol for days.

      Translation: Bullyiam is suffering from shame and an inferiority complex, now that the world is seeing the true Prince Harry….that he is the better of the two of them in every way; and he’s incandescent with impotent rage about it.

  7. lanne says:

    royal and reporter are oxymorons. The rota ratchets are just paid hacks. They write what they are told to write, based on whatever narrative the tabloids create, with or without the approval of the royals.

    The biggest mistake the royals keep making is creating an “us or them” narrative between the Sussexes and the Cambridges. The us/them narrative itself is proof that the Cambridges felt threatened by Harry and Meghan, and it only ensures that the 2 couples are seen in competition. It’s a competition the Cambridges can only lose–the only thing they bring to the ring is their entitlement. Entitlement only appeals to white supremists, either unexamined or explicit. The Cambridges are following a Trumpian path of demanding absolute fealty from anyone who works with them, so they are surrounded by sycophants. Their Trumpian tactics will get them Trumpian results with one major exception: Trump still holds the republican party in the US because he was able to not only tap into white resentment, but he also invited those white supremists to see themselves reflected through him–his success in “owning the libs” was their success. His followers still act as if they believe he loves them, that they can be him. Will-di Amin has that outsize desire to be loved and admired, but he lacks the ability and the charisma to earn that love. His ego means that he has to lean hard into white supremacy because those are the people who will give him the love that he wants. I think he’s too stupid to realize this, and he will build relationships with the Dan Wootens of the world and forget about the Tom Bradbys–someone who he once apparently considered a friend.

  8. MangoAngelesque says:

    It says so much about the measure of a man that they consider a friendship destroyed because a person was compassionate to that man’s brother, and and since not actively written slanderous articles about either side of the family. “If you won’t slander them, you’re no friend of mine!”

    It’s not that he’s slandering William, mind. It’s that he ISN’T going after Harry and Meghan. That’s just pathetic. Truly, keenly, pathetic.

    William has always been a spoilt brat. But this deep-rooted need of his to see Harry actively pursued is truly disturbing. I don’t even think it’s Meghan anymore. He’s wanting people to hate Harry. They’ve loved him for so long as the fun Prince, the People’s Prince, the one most like Diana, and William has finally bubbled over. He sees Harry’s reception in the rest of the non-England world, and resents the hell out of it, and so he wants to make England as absolutely hostile to his brother as he possibly can. It strikes me as borderline dangerous, especially once the Queen is gone.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      Once William lost his hair, he lost his ONLY resemblance to Diana. Since Harry never had that (other than the Spencer red hair), he developed the emotional part of himself that is just like his mother’s: empathy, the ability to connect with others on every level, the sincere desire to do “good” for the good of others, a real sense of humor (and NOT at the *expense* of others; he got her charm as well. ALL things Will lacks, and is FURIOUS that Harry has, effortlessly, in spades.

    • Nic919 says:

      Billy the Basher has clearly never grown up.

      • Sure says:

        Recently watched YT video of Charles, Di, William and Harry where the boys are playing the piano. There’s a section where William charges up to Di and punches her in the thigh. I have to say it was uncomfortable to see Billy the Basher in action even though he was just a child. Di’s reaction was a combination of annoyance and embarrassment and she ignored him and quickly moved away to get Harry (l think).

  9. Lauren says:

    Bradby being blamed by palace sources as the one that made ITV air the interview is idiotic. Anyone with any sort of business acumen would have been salivating at the idea of airing the interview. ITV spent a million pounds on it but made so much more off of it on publicity. How much did the BBC make on their coverage of Philip’s death and funeral? Not a lot, just a lot of complaints. They probably regret in secret not buying the rights to Oprah interview themselves. I also get why Bradby is reluctant to cover royal business, no one has a great opinion of the RR journalist, of course, he wouldn’t want to end up in that bunch.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    If I’m mistaken Bradby used to be the royal correspondent for ITV. I’m sure he’s sorry he spoke about Harry’s feelings on TV a few months ago. A rookie mistake for such a seasoned journalist.

    • Nivz says:

      Can you elaborate? Rookie mistake because it complicated his own life and career? Or because he should toe the palace line? Or what…

  11. Nyro says:

    The whining and complaining and accusing ITV of being Sussex-friendly is all the rage in mugxit land online. They constantly tell on themselves by repeating the most obscure and random stuff from mugxit land. Kensington Palace is DEEP into the online world of Meghan hatred. I honestly think Murky Meg and several of the other major Meghan haters are actual courtiers.

  12. Sofia says:

    I don’t blame Brady for looking down at royal coverage. As said above you’re just writing gossip pieces and the real stories are buried by the palace or even the media themselves to keep the toxic relationship going.

    I also think it’s a bit ridiculous and slightly hypocritical for William to cut a decade+ relationship (think he was at the Cambridges wedding) because said man is nicer to your brother and gets his side out. I mean it’s not that different from Wootton, Kay, Palmer, Tominey et al from writing articles about how the royals feel and think and they’re probably also getting info from the royals themselves.

    And it makes sense why ITV got the rights and it has nothing to do with Bradby. BBC wasn’t going to in fear of royal backlash, Sky probably didn’t want to pay as much for it or ITV simply had more cash to give.

  13. Myra says:

    He sounds like a good person. In the long run, it’s a good thing that William has shut him out (very tyrant of him). You can now clearly see the difference between the journalists that support William and those that support Harry. I mean, whichever side Dan Wootton is on is the bad side. It’s really playing out like a villain versus hero story. And William is really leaning into that villain aesthetic.

  14. Merricat says:

    I don’t think Bradby gives a fig that William has cut him off. Lol.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      ITA 100%. Bradby could not care less that William has “cut him off”. It is probably a relief not to have to take and/or return phone calls from Baldingham.

  15. Catherine says:

    Bradby keeps saying that he doesn’t want to keep talking about Harry and Meghan. But he keeps talking about Harry and Meghan. In the article he refused to address the status of his relationship with William or give any opinion on William but is giving further insights into his assessment of the Sussexes mental state. I find it all suspect. I can understand him wanting to defend himself in light of that Daily Mail article. But he could have addressed the accusations and then kept it moving. And his assertion about the relationship deteriorating over the last 18 months contradicts his earlier assertions that things were going wrong before the wedding even took place. He is a well respected journalist and writer. He doesn’t really fall into that “royal reporter” category. He covers the royals as part of his job but it’s not what he does all the time. So I don’t think that he thinks royal coverage is beneath him per se. I think he resents the fact that it misrepresents him professionally. Also, he probably deeply resents the tabloids referring to him as “friend of” because that implies that his coverage is biased and based on a personal agenda. Imagine being a legitimate journalist ( or at least what passes for a legitimate journalist in 🇬🇧) and having the tabloids; the Mail in particular accuse you of being biased. In any case, I think he needs to stop rehashing the doc. In the television interview he did when he was promoting his book he admitted he hadn’t spoken to Harry in months. Yet he opined about how heartbroken he thought Harry was. If he is going to refuse to discuss his personal thoughts about William; then he should refuse to discuss his personal thoughts about Harry.

    • Merricat says:

      Lol. Why would Bradby “discuss his personal thoughts about William” when William has cut him off and no longer considers him a friend? That would be rather rude, I think. His answers, if you read them, are in response to questions asked him, but he certainly has every right to discuss his personal thoughts about Harry, if he wishes and Harry doesn’t mind. And I seriously doubt that being accused of bias by the tabloids is the least bit damaging to Bradby’s reputation. Lol. That’s like a rabid dog accusing a working dog of having fleas.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Catherine, are you overlooking the fact that what Bradby highlighted was H&M’s MENTAL HEALTH. That’s really what he did here, and probably quite deliberately. He’s saying that they both were having difficulties. I believe this is his way of saying, yes, what you heard on the Oprah interview is correct. The signs were there in October 2019.

  16. Susan says:

    I feel like we, as a society, push our hopes and dreams onto everyone about family. I always felt like an outsider growing up because there wasn’t a lot of LOVE among my nuclear family, we all just kind of tolerated each other because it’s what you are “ supposed to do.” it wasn’t hate or drama or soap opera stuff, just….apathy. malaise.

    Please don’t come at me, I know many people DO have amazing familial relationships—but i think those amazing relationships are not as common as we think. Sometimes the feelings just aren’t there. Sometimes the people involved are sociopaths (LOL) and sometimes its just meh. it’s like the unrealistic holidays and Christmas tropes. they used to upset me, now they just make me roll my eyes. i can count on my hand the number of truly normal, functional familial relationships among my non-family people that I know.

    And on that note, that is kind of my feeling about the whole BRF. I don’t think Charles was this nurturing present father (he was too busy skirt chasing Camilla IMO) and Diana, while I adored her, had her own parenting challenges. Often when you grow up in a tumultuous house hold like that…you bond. *Or* you self-isolate. I see those boys as a lot like my sister and I—we kind of went our separate ways and didn’t have a bond.

    • Brittany says:

      I completely get it. That may be how Will and Harry experienced life too — especially when their mother passed and Charles wasn’t as demonstrative (for lack of a better term). I thought they had more of a brotherly bond, but clearly their paths have diverged.

    • Zebz says:

      Williams behavior is really really strange. If they don’t have a bond for years, why the meltdown???? I actually suspected he had entered a psychosis from the way some of these stories were presenting him. Why was everyone saying how badly William needed Harry, like he couldn’t live without him??? There was such a strange undertone to these stories that was disturbing to read. He was acting like a fatal attraction lover over his brother. Unsettling.

  17. Over it says:

    Baldimort is a royal jackass

  18. The Other Brother has already displayed a preview of the kind of authoritarian leadership he will espoused when he inherits the throne towards journalists who don’t toe the line. He will punish those he thinks are subverting his authority. His media (the clowns) must reflect his will, safeguard his authority, and safeguard his family’s unity. TOB is a dictator.