Prince William is Jealous of Prince Harry’s Ability to “Break Away” from the Royal Establishment, Omid Scobie Writes

“It’s easy to see why William’s fury is bubbling to the top.”

Prince William Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When it comes to the infamous “heir and spare” dynamic in royal life, the heir usually has the advantage, while the spare is considered more of an afterthought. But in one sense, it’s the spare that has the upper hand—the spare has the option to walk away from it all, to leave it all behind. The heir, trained since birth for his or her destiny, does not.

Perhaps the most well-known “heir and spare” are Prince William (the heir) and Prince Harry (the spare, which is a term that should be retired). After all, the latter even wrote a book about his life and called it the derogatory term. But Omid Scobie—himself the author of a highly controversial royal book, Endgame, which came out this week—said inside its pages that William is envious of Harry’s ability to walk away, as Harry did in 2020 when he left life as a working royal and relocated with wife Meghan Markle to the United States. 

Prince William and Prince Harry in military uniform

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William, Prince Harry

(Image credit: Getty)

William is trapped within the confines of his role as first in line to the throne and is jealous of Harry because of it, Scobie writes. Speaking of his younger brother speaking out against the royal family in Spare and other projects, Scobie writes that “Harry’s sustained offensive was too much for William. In his first post-exit interview, Harry asserted that William (and Charles) are ‘trapped’ in the system—there is no exit for the next in line. While this is objectively true, a source close to William told me that the heir feels ‘far from [trapped] in any system.’ But 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.”

He continues, “Couple this slow-burning resentment with William’s outright anger at what he perceives as Harry’s relentless selfishness in his war against the two institutions he blames for his ills, and it’s easy to see why William’s fury is bubbling to the top.”

Prince Harry and Prince William

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Scobie also addresses William’s rumored fiery temper, with those he spoke with repeatedly telling him that the heir to the throne can sometimes be hard to deal with; that, while William has “fully embraced” his role as future monarch and has become a “disciplined King in waiting,” he is often hard to reason with. “It is said that after maturing into his position in the Firm, the Prince now aims to follow in the Queen’s footsteps,” Scobie writes. “A source within his team at Kensington Palace says that, as an adult in his forties, the former Duke of Cambridge has ‘fully embraced the path that he’s on. Just like the Queen, he has learned the importance of duty coming before anything else.’”

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.