Both Prince William and Prince Harry Feel “A Lot of Regret” Over Rift, Expert Says

“It’s very much, as you can imagine, a constant strain.”

Prince William Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty Images)

One year on from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s groundbreaking interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex’s relationship with older brother Prince William remains strained, reports the Mirror—and, according to a royal expert, both feel “a lot of regret” over their relationship today.

Speaking to OK!, Duncan Larcombe said that the brothers, once best friends, miss each other, and that for the Duke of Cambridge, his falling out with his brother is a “constant strain” on him.

“It’s very clear to those that know William that the rift with his brother is not something that he can just forget about,” Larcombe said. “It’s very much, as you can imagine, a constant strain. It is for Harry as well—they’re both as stubborn as mules.”

The rift is oft reported to have started over Harry’s quickly developing relationship with wife Meghan Markle, who he met in 2016, became engaged to in 2017, and married in 2018. Harry and Meghan stepped back as working royals in January 2020, and, since then, the brothers have only met face-to-face twice: At the funeral of grandfather Prince Philip in April 2021, and a couple of months later at the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana.

“That’s not great when two best friends and brothers fall out,” Larcombe said. “If anybody knows what it’s like to fall out with a best friend or a brother who was close to you when you were growing up, it’s not nice. You miss them. There is a lot of regret there, and I think it’s on both sides.”

William is quickly approaching 40, turning the milestone age on June 21 of this year.

“Everything else seems to be going right for William at this time—he’s riding the crest of a wave in most aspects of his life, but sadly he has the absence of Prince Harry, his brother in his life,” Larcombe said. “William’s always had a set plan of where he wants to be in five years, how he’s going to transition from prince to husband to father to future king. He’s basically ticked all of those boxes that he set out to tick when he was graduating from university, but the one thing not going right for him is something that is deeply upsetting.”

Yet, Larcombe said, he holds out hope for an eventual reconciliation, adding that the bond between brothers is deep—as boys, the two weathered the storm of their parents’ tumultuous relationship, culminating in their eventual divorce in 1996, and, of course, the sudden and shocking death of their mother in a Paris car crash in 1997.

“These are brothers that glued together as they lost their mother,” he said. “They went through that bereavement, and as is quite clear, they dealt with it in different ways, but they were very close. Every week the rift continues, Harry and William are the two people who are missing out the most.”

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.