British Royal Family

Inside Prince Harry and Prince William's heartbreaking royal feud

We pinpoint the exact moment these two turned from best mates into bitter enemies.

By Rebecca Sullivan
For decades, the world has watched our most famous brothers, Prince Harry and Prince William, grow up before our very eyes.
We've looked on with both delight and sorrow as these two gorgeous boys blossomed into fine young men, navigating through the horrific grief brought on by their mother's tragic death and all the complexities that come with living every moment of their lives in front of the cameras.
Harry and Wills have always been thick as thieves, but lately, their once unbreakable bond appears to be a little shaky.
It's no secret in royal circles that things aren't great between Harry, 34 and William, 36, at the moment.
So what's behind these rumours of a feud between the brothers? We reveal exactly what went wrong.
It's an open secret that things are tense between Harry and William at the moment. (Image: Getty)

Harry and William are like apples and oranges

Whether you believe it's down to nature or nurture, it's very clear that Harry and Wills have completely different personalities.
As the future Kind of England, William has always been more restrained and reserved, in contrast to the cheeky and outspoken Harry.
"Emotionally, they are very unalike," a royal insider told Newsweek in 2017.
"Harry wears his heart on his sleeve. William is introverted and reclusive. They are bonded together by the unique position they are in and the experience of losing their mother very young. But they don't live in each other's pockets, and while William was at university, they didn't see much of each other at all."
A member of Harry's inner circle further explained the difference between the two princes: "William was more successful academically, but when it comes to dealing with people, Harry knocks the spots off both him and Kate, especially with children. Harry is passionate about them and is a natural, which neither William nor Kate are."
Prince Harry and Prince William pictured with their mother Princess Diana in 1995. (Image: Getty)

But it was William who helped Harry process his grief

Prince Harry has been completely open about the devastating impact his mother's death in 1997 had on his mental health.
"I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last twenty years, had had a quite serious effect not only on my personal life, but also my work as well," Harry revealed in the 2017 documentary Diana Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy.
"I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions, when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming at you from every angle," Harry explained.
His well-publicised missteps, including being photographed wearing Nazi clothing at a fancy dress party and partying naked in Las Vegas alongside scantily-clad women in 2012, were part of the "two years of chaos" in his late twenties, according to Harry himself.
The brothers at their mother's funeral in 1997. (Image: Getty)
But at the age of 28, when he was in a very dark place, it was William who encouraged him to seek help and talk openly about his grief.
"Our relationship is closer than it's been because of the situation we've been through," William said in 2018.
"Losing our mother at a young age, it's helped us travel through that difficult patch together. You're like-minded. You go through similar things — it's a bond, and it's something you know you've tackled together and come out better for it," he said.
"That's the thing about being a best mate, inevitably one of you is sometimes on an up, while the other is on a down. You're always there for each other and repaying that favour."
The brothers now work tirelessly together to raise awareness about mental health, including through their joint royal charity Heads Together.
WATCH BELOW: This adorable throwback video of Prince Harry and Prince William as toddlers is everything. Story continues after video.

Then Harry met Meghan

Harry and Meghan were first introduced by mutual friends in London in 2016 and quickly embarked on a whirlwind romance.
William knew Harry was head-over-heels for the former Suits actress and wanted his brother to take things slowly.
"William told his brother they knew nothing about her background, her intentions, what she was really like," a royal courtier told The Sun in December 2018.
"He just wanted to stress that becoming part of the Royal Family is a massive undertaking and the pressure and scrutiny is unrelenting. Was Meghan the right one?"
The intervention did not go down well - at all.
"Harry went mental," said the friend. "He accused his brother of trying to finish his romance before it had begun. The brothers' relationship has not really recovered."
Another royal insider said William wasn't the only royal to raise questions about Harry and Meghan's relationship: "A lot of people in the family objected. Who really knows what the concerns were? Was it Meghan's background? Her father and dreadful half-sister? Because she was an outspoken American? Divorced?"
"Harry stood up for Meghan very forcibly. He really loves her."
Those reports were confirmed this week by Vanity Fair's respected royal reporter Katie Nicholl, author of Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss and Love, who said things went "badly" after William tried to warn Harry over how fast his romance with Meghan was progressing.
"William was concerned about how quickly the relationship had moved and wanted to make sure that Harry was making the right decision," Nicholl explained.
"What was intended as well-meaning, brotherly concern and a bit of advice went down quite badly with Harry, who felt William wasn't being as supportive as he might have been."
William reportedly encouraged Harry to slow things down with Meghan. (Image: Getty)

But they played happy families at Harry's wedding

Harry and William share a laugh on Harry's wedding day in 2018. (Image: Getty)
Just how Harry had served as William's best man during his wedding to Duchess Catherine in 2011, William loyally stood by his brother's side during his May 2018 wedding.
The brothers were all smiles and Harry and Meghan wed in front of hundreds of A-list guests, including Serena Williams and Amal Clooney, at St George's Chapel in Windsor.
Harry standing by William's side during his 2011 wedding to Duchess Catherine. (Image: Getty)
The happy duo walking into the church. (Image: Getty)

No "royal red carpet" for Meghan

Now that Meghan was an official member of the royal family, Harry wanted his brother to welcome her warmly into the household.
While there have been conflicting reports about a feud between Kate and Meghan, many say it's not all-out war, just a difference in personalities.
"Kate and Meghan are very different people and they don't have a lot in common but they have made an effort to get along," a source told Vanity Fair.
"Any issues are between the brothers."
Apparently, William "refused to roll out the red carpet" for Harry's new bride.
"Harry didn't think William was rolling out the red carpet for Meghan, and told him so," the source told Vanity Fair.
"They had a bit of a fallout, which was only resolved when Prince Charles stepped in and asked William to make an effort."
Some sources have said Harry and William's bond said to be "almost irretrievably broken" because of the rift.
William, Meghan and Harry all together for an official royal engagement. (Image: Getty)
Meghan and William exchanging a pleasant greeting. (Image: Getty)

The "Fab Four" reunite at Christmas

The Fab Four attending Christmas celebrations at Sandringham in 2018. (Image: Getty)
In an attempt to put the feud rumours to bed, the Cambridges and the Sussexes put on a very public display of unity during the royal family's annual Christmas Day celebrations in December 2018 at their Sandringham country estate in Norfolk.
William, Catherine, Meghan and Harry happily walked together into the church for their traditional Sunday service, smiling at onlookers and receiving flowers.
All eyes were on the Duchesses, analysing every movement to see if they really were playing happy families. The pair appeared chatty and amicable, smiling to each other. The Internet even went wild when Meghan rested her hand on Kate's back - a gentle attempt at conciliation, perhaps?
The two royal brothers kept their distance with their wives in the middle and did not interact at all.
In fact, body language expert Judi James said it was a very frosty appearance.
"We've been so entranced by the two women that we've forgotten about Prince William and Prince Harry. Apart from having very rigid, fixed smiles on their faces, I didn't see anything in the way of glances or exchanges between them," she told The Daily Mail.
"They've always been seen laughing and sharing jokes, they usually have lots of 'tie-signs' (gestures that signal closeness) between them. They've both got their hands stuck in their pockets and I didn't see any connection signals between them at all."
Guess they won't be doing double-date-night anytime soon? (Image: Getty)

The households officially split

In March, it was announced that the Cambridges and the Sussexes would officially split their households, meaning the families would have access to their own staff and offices at Buckingham Palace.
Prior to this revelation, Harry and Meghan lived and share a Household with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, with both couples residing at Kensington Palace and sharing many formal resources, including a full team of staff made up of a private secretary, press secretary, assistants and bodyguards.
But with Harry and Meghan's move to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, as well as the arrival of their royal baby, it made sense to create a new Sussex Household.
"The Duke of Sussex currently has his own private office, which has been supporting The Duchess since the engagement of Their Royal Highnesses in November 2017," Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
"This long-planned move will ensure that permanent support arrangements for The Duke and Duchess's work are in place as they start their family and move to their official residence at Frogmore Cottage."
It was actually reported at the time that it was William who encouraged the Queen to make the decision, allowing Harry and Meghan access to the resources they need to keep doing their important charity work.
The Cambridges and the Sussexes will now operate independently. (Image: Getty)

Frosty reception at Easter

With his wife Meghan due to give birth any day now, Prince Harry was forced to attend the royal family's official Easter celebrations alone last weekend.
The whole royal family turned out for their their annual Easter Sunday service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, but in stark contrast to previous appearances, William and Harry didn't talk to each other as they made their way in and out of the church.
In the past, William, Catherine and Harry would enter the church together, but this year, in an unprecedented and curious move, Harry walked in with his cousin Peter Phillips and his wife Autumn Phillips.
While Prince William and Duchess Catherine entered separately, flanked by cousins Zara Tindall, Mike Tindall and Princess Beatrice.
Duchess Catherine and Prince William walk into the church alongside Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall, as well as Princess Beatrice. (Image: Getty)
Prince Harry walks away from the main group. (Image: Getty)
When the family lined up outside of the church to pay their respects to The Queen, who was celebrating her 93rd birthday, Harry was again keeping his distance from his older brother and wife, with several family members standing between them in the line-up.
Many fans have been quick to comment on the brother's frosty Easter appearance, while a source explained to ET there was "an obvious distance between the two."
Adding that the pair are at "different stages in their life" and are "no longer the boys" they once were.
As we all know, nothing the royals do is ever a coincidence and every public outing is planned and choreographed down to the minute so there is a lot to unpack here.
Indeed, body language expert Judi James told UK outlet Fabulous Online Harry was "desperate to avoid" Prince William.
"It was Harry's peculiar body language behaviour once he was in closer proximity to his brother that really added to the huge question that has been hanging over their heads for months," James said.
Prince Harry kept his distance from Kate and William. (Image: Getty)
With the arrival of Harry's first child any day now, we expect that will throw a whole new spanner into the works.
Here's hoping these wonderful brothers can soon put aside their differences and learn to live in harmony.