- The bond between brothers Prince William and Prince Harry has been strained for a while now, but it's gotten so bad that William feels their relationship is changed in a big, fundamental way.
- In his new book Battle of Brothers: William and Harry — The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, royal historian Robert Lacey digs deep into the brothers' problems.
- According to Lacey, William admitted to a friend that, after Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle's, behavior following the birth of their son, Archie Harrison, he felt he could no longer be there for his younger brother as he had been in the past.
Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship has been, well strained to say the least lately. The breakdown of the brothers' bond has been speculated about by royal followers for the past few years now and public interest in the so-called "feud" has been so high that royal historian Robert Lacey (who serves as the main royal consultant on Netflix's drama The Crown) recently wrote a book dedicated to getting to the bottom of it.
In his new book, Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, Lacey digs deep into many of the issues that have played a role in Harry and William's struggles, many of which reportedly involved Harry's wife, Meghan Markle. According to Lacey, the final straw that moved things from "strained" to pretty much broken came when Harry and Meghan welcomed their son, Archie Harrison—and bucked several royal traditions in the process.
For context, Harry and Meghan made a conscious decision to do things differently with Archie than other senior royals (include William and his wife, Kate Middleton) had with their children. For one, Harry and Meghan opted against welcoming Archie at the Lindo Wing maternity at St. Mary's Hospital in London, having him at Portland Hospital, an American-owned, upscale, private medical center in London's Westminster neighborhood.
They also instructed the Palace to release misleading statements surrounding his birth—notably, the Palace didn't even announce that Meghan was in labor until she had already delivered Archie and the family had returned home with him. And, finally, Harry and Meghan refused to allow members of the public to witness Archie's christening (another royal tradition) and fought to keep the identities of his godparents a secret.
This all added up to "too much" in William's book, apparently, because it was after this series of events when Lacey says he admitted to a friend that his relationship with his brother had fundamentally changed. In the book, Lacey writes:
"I've put my arm round his shoulder all our lives together,' said the prince to a friend, explaining why Harry and Meghan's behaviour and the succession of erratic decisions surrounding Archie's birth and christening—particularly the weird concealing of the godparents—had led to the rupture between the brothers that Harry would describe later as the pursuit of 'different paths.'
"I can't do it any more," said William.