Apparently King Charles and Prince William Aren’t as Close as We’ve Assumed They Were Since Queen Elizabeth’s Death

Instead of working together for the good of the Crown, Omid Scobie writes that the two are more interested in individual success.

Prince Charles Prince William
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s no secret that Prince William and younger brother Prince Harry are at loggerheads—but it has long been assumed that William and his father, King Charles, are not only doing well, but are closer than ever.

Not so, said Omid Scobie, whose new book Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival is out tomorrow. In an interview with The Times over the weekend, Scobie said that William is in “heir mode,” which is furthering the divide between himself and his father. William “knows his father’s reign is only transitional,” Scobie said, “and is acting accordingly.” 

Prince William and King Charles together

(Image credit: Getty)

Scobie said that one of the royal family’s foremost problems in present day is that they are more focused on the success of themselves individually than the Crown as a whole: “It would have been nice to see them come together on certain projects perhaps in the early years, to put on that united front, but they’re all working in silos,” he told The Times.

Royal expert Christopher Andersen counters Scobie’s assessment, though, telling Us Weekly “They’ve had to put up this united front against Harry and Meghan. They’ve been insulted by members of their own family. It’s been quite the ordeal for them, and I think that they kind of circled the wagon, so to speak. And they’ve come out of that with a stronger bond.” 

Prince William and King Charles together

(Image credit: Getty)

A dividing point between Charles and William is likely the way that they communicate with Harry—William has all but cut off his younger brother, while Charles won’t do that to his son. Apparently the King spoke to Harry and Meghan Markle, and they agreed that the allegations that a member of the royal family raised concerns about the color of Prince Archie’s skin before he was born—which was spoken about by the couple in their March 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey—would not be mentioned either in Harry’s memoir Spare or in the couple’s eponymous Netflix docuseries.

“The fact that [Charles] engaged in a conversation about it shows a lot more of a willingness to take some of these issues on than Prince William, for example, who has completely avoided talking to his brother whatsoever,” Scobie said. He added “The side of it that a lot of people don’t know, or within our industry have known but chosen not to report, is just how involved William has been in many of the things that have gone out about his own brother.”

Prince William and Prince Harry

(Image credit: Getty)

Previous excerpts released from Scobie’s Endgame reveal that William is apparently “convinced” that Harry has been “brainwashed” by an “army of therapists,” and that William “no longer even recognizes” his younger brother.

As part of the so-called “heir mode,” Scobie writes in the book that “The Prince of Wales can’t wait to ascend the throne. And a real impatience is created around him.” The book also zooms in on how Charles—who has been an advocate for environmentalism since the 1970s, long before William was even born—was “quietly annoyed” when William left him out of any involvement in his Earthshot Prize Awards, which tackle the same issues. “He’s not giving his father the same space Charles did with the Queen,” Scobie writes in the book, in an excerpt pulled by The Independent. “There’s no time for that.” 

Prince William and King Charles together

(Image credit: Getty)

Referring specifically to Earthshot, which launched in 2020, Scobie writes that the King “had hoped that William would want to involve his father or at least credit him for inspiring him to take on this role, but instead it was as if [Charles’ commitment to environmentalism] didn’t even exist.”

Scobie also wrote that William’s office at Kensington Palace and Charles’ office at Buckingham Palace are “hives of competing agendas” with “different ideas about how to modernize” the monarchy. While William “respects his father,” Scobie writes, “their views [and] their outlooks are very different, and I can see that becoming an issue over the years ahead.”

The book continues that “Contrary to public belief, [Charles] leads with his head and his heart. [William] is colder in that respect. He just wants to get the job done and has no problem taking prisoners along the way.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.