Prince Harry Couldn’t Understand Prince William’s “Obsession” with the Middleton Family, As Shown on ‘The Crown’

He is said to have found the Middletons’ life in Bucklebury “boring.”

Prince William, Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Part two of season six of Netflix’s The Crown debuted on Thursday, and it featured Prince William and Kate Middleton meeting as first-year students at the University of St. Andrews. As their relationship progresses, Kate brings William home to meet her family—father Michael, mother Carole, and siblings Pippa and James—and it has long been understood that William not only fell for Kate, but also the stability and normality of the Middleton family (a stark juxtaposition to his own tumultuous upbringing).

Royal author Tina Brown says William’s younger brother Prince Harry apparently “couldn’t understand William’s obsession” with the Middletons and, after William and Kate married, that he felt “displaced” by William’s new family unit, The Mirror reports. 

Prince William and Prince Harry

(Image credit: Getty)

Brown wrote the 2022 book The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor and spoke to a royal aide who said Harry’s relationship with William changed after William got married in 2011, and that the distance between the two increased even more after Princess Charlotte was born in 2015. William and Harry were still “incredibly close” when both lived at Kensington Palace, Brown said, and shared the same office and spent ample time together. But, Brown said, Harry “mourned his us-against-the-world bond with William” after William married.

Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Furthermore, Brown continued, Harry found the Middletons’ Bucklebury life to be boring. “Harry felt displaced by their bougie family unit and couldn’t understand his brother’s obsession with his Middleton in-laws, whose Bucklebury world bored Harry to tears,” she wrote. “The [now Waleses] had become a tight unit, and William a full-on Windsor country bumpkin. On weekend when he wasn’t chez Middleton, he was tramping the grounds of Anmer Hall, the red-brick Georgian mansion on the Sandringham Estate that the Queen gave the couple as a wedding present, wearing a flat cap and tweed jacket like his ‘turnip toff’ Norfolk farmer friends.”

William, for his part, “felt Harry’s unabated Jack the Lad behavior was getting tiresome,” The Daily Express reports. William was also decidedly “less amused than the British public” when details of Harry’s partying—i.e. his Las Vegas strip billiards “debacle”—were unearthed. 

This all happened around the same time that William was growing closer than ever to the Middletons. Joe Little, managing editor at Majesty Magazine, said Kate “brought her family” when it came to cementing her position within the royal family.

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Scotland

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“William fitted into the Middleton family very quickly, and they took to him as a future son-in-law,” Little said. “I think also a bit of stability and grounding and a bit of normality that William perhaps wasn’t too familiar with when growing up because clearly his parents’ marriage was facing difficulties when he was a child, and he was very aware of that—and eventually their marriage disintegrated. With the Middletons, he got stability and a bit of normality, so for that William will forever be grateful.”

The Crown, for its part, is now done for good, much to our chagrin; part two of season six was the finale of the series, which began in 2016. 

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.