Prince William Is "A Bit Envious" of Prince Harry's Lifestyle, Sources Claim

The Duke of Sussex has more freedoms.

Prince William and Prince Harry attend a reception to mark the launch of the Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund on January 8, 2009 in London, England.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's no secret that Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship right now leaves much to be desired.

But on the Prince of Wales' side, apparently there's more to the rift than straightforward anger: William is reportedly also slightly jealous of the way Harry gets to live his life.

"William is a bit envious of [his brother’s] freedoms," an anonymous source told Us Weekly.

As the "spare," Harry was able to leave behind his royal duties, but as the future King, William just doesn't have that option.

Princess Diana, Prince William, Prince Harry

Prince William and Prince Harry's relationship has never been completely easy.

(Image credit: Getty)

Another reason William "feels envious" of Harry, according to royal author Ed Owens, is the things the Duke of Sussex has been able to achieve as a free agent, so to speak.

"Harry has done remarkable things," Owens told Us Weekly, pointing to the Invictus Games in particular, which "now has international presences, and I think that international stage is something both brothers are clearly vying for. That international limelight really sets Harry’s work apart from other members of the Royal Family."

Prince William at the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in NYC

Prince William attends the Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit in New York City.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Of course, William has also achieved a lot—for example establishing the annual Earthshot Prize to help reverse the climate crisis—but Owens seems to be pointing to the extra media attention Harry's projects often attract.

On Harry's end, however, it sounds like there's a real desire to move forward and build bridges with his brother, with a second source telling Us Weekly that he has invited William and Princess Kate to the Invictus Games event in London on May 8, but of course we don't yet know if the Waleses will go.

"Harry is very content [and] doesn’t have any of those [old] feelings now," the second source said. "He feels that his life has purpose and meaning and that he can bring a lot of good to the world."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the 2023 Invictus Games

Prince Harry's Invictus Games have been a resounding success since they were established in 2014.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Harry is likely to meet with his father King Charles while he's in England, but it's unclear whether he will see William—with whom he has pretty much been estranged for months now.

Thankfully, the duke's relationship with his father, who announced his cancer diagnosis in February, seems to be moving in a better direction these days.

As for William's alleged jealousy, it's not the first time royal insiders have implied something to that effect.

In February, royal author Robert Jobson said of William's perspective on the Invictus Games, "I think there was a degree of jealousy about how well it had gone."

Meanwhile, Omid Scobie wrote last year, "we do know that there are persisting reports that William has been—and always will be—envious of Harry’s freedom to 'break away' from the royal establishment."

Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.