Tension Between Prince William and Prince Harry Grew During The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Week

The family drama is still far from over. 

While it seemed like the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebration was the perfect place for Prince William and Prince Harry to put their "rift" to rest, there were no signs they had fully mended. A royal source revealed that the brothers' relationship is still "fraught".

The royal brothers were once very close. And royal fans who have followed them from childhood to adulthood are aware of this close brother relationship.

According to Princess Diana's biographer, Andrew Morton, in the 2019 November edition of Royals Monthly"Their relationship is incredibly intimate. Nobody, apart from each other, knows exactly - not even their father, Prince Charles - what's gone on in their heads and their hearts over the last 20 years. They both experienced the loss of their mother and the only people that they could trust to talk about it in a candid way were each of them."

The young Princes William and Harry with their mother at Kensington Palace

With their father, Prince Charles

Prince William was 15 and Prince Harry was 12 when their mother died in a car crash in Paris, France, in 1997. While Prince William tried to get back on his feet after the loss, Prince Harry had not gotten over the sudden death of the Princess of Wales.

September 1995. Accompanying Prince William on his first day of school at Eton College

As they grew up into adulthood, the brothers were extremely close. Prince William was his brother's strongest support. And they were inseparable in many outings and public events. Until Prince Harry got married to someone he had only known for a year. 

According to insiders, the Duke of Cambridge advised his brother to slow down a bit and get to know more about Meghan Markle before taking the plunge. Harry and Meghan were introduced in 2016, a year later, they planned to get married.

The Prince and Princess of Wales holding their sons. Highgrove estate

Prince William thought his brother was just rushing things up, and he wanted him to discern his decision carefully.  But Prince Harry reportedly took his brother's advice as "not being supportive". 

From then on, their relationship was strained. 

In 2018, the situation got worse when their wives were dragged into the so-called "royal feud". In 2019, royal insiders acknowledged that the royal brothers had grown apart.

The Prince and Princess of Wales attended a public event with their sons before their divorce

A royal source revealed that Prince Harry does not envy the responsibility that comes with being the future British king but William's the "golden boy" and Harry feels like he has a lot to live up to.

The once very close brothers at Highgrove, Prince Charles's country home

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex decided to step back from senior royal roles and move to America, speculations grew that there was a rift brewing between them. It worsened when Harry and Meghan had a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey in February 2021.

Although there were reports that the brothers had reconnected through a series of video calls, they became estranged again when the Sussexes continued to throw shades at the Royal Family during their interviews on U.S televisions. 

Tension during the Jubilee week

According to a column in New York Times, the appearance of Harry and Megan at the Thanksgiving Service on June 3, Friday, was carefully choreographed, ensuring they would arrive first before the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, to avoid fanfares in the church.

Getty Images

Harry and Meghan's presence drew some hush inside the church, prompting many necks to crane as they walked into their seats, considering the controversies their interview with Oprah generated in 2021. They were seated on the opposite side, some distance away from his brother and father. 

Inside the St. Paul's Cathedral, the television cameras did not capture any images of interaction between the royal brothers or between Harry and his father.

Getty Images

Royal observers were waiting for a short reunion of the former "foursome" after the service. But nothing happened. They went on their separate ways. However, the Sussexes were seen greeting other cousins such as Peter and Zara, Mike Tindall, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their respective partners. Prince Harry was seated beside Jack Brooksbank.

So, relationship was still frosty.

The Sussexes were seen greeting Harry's cousins during the Thanksgiving Service

Can they ever patch their differences?

Prince William was reportedly incensed upon hearing Harry and Meghan had inked a lucrative deal with Netflix to produce a documentary about their lives (with Netflix camera reportedly following the Sussexes where ever they go). 

The U.K-based press, Page Six, revealed Prince William is wary to be alone with his brother as "he never quite knows what may be reported back afterwards". The Duke of Cambridge is worried that their meeting or conversation might appear in the documentary. 

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during the Thanksgiving Service

Mike Tindall's latest revelation that the royal cousins had a secret lunch while the working royals joined the Queen for lunch in Buckingham Palace after Trooping the Colour, seemed to denote that the non-working royals were not invited for the palace lunch, which made the Sussexes felt "left out".

It was also confirmed that the Sussexes did not attend the lunch held at London's Guildhall after the Thanksgiving Service. All members of the royal family made their way to London's Guildhall except Harry and Meghan. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex leaving St. Paul's Cathedral

Royal expert, Russell Myers, told an Australian news show, Sunrise, that the royal brothers' relationship was still frosty and created tension inside the church. 

"The brothers did not lock eyes or make eye contact at all", he commented. "I think there's still a lot of bad atmosphere going on and there needs to be a bit more water under the bridge until those brothers come back together", Myers added.

The Cambridges visited Cardiff, Wales on June 4, 2022

Another major blow in the strained relationship was the first birthday celebration of Harry and Meghan's daughter, Lili, on June 4, Saturday.

The Cambridges were reportedly invited to the picnic birthday celebration in Frogmore Cottage but declined to attend due to their schedule to appear in Cardiff, Wales. They also brought their two children, George and Charlotte, during the visit. 

Royal observers commented that, granting the schedule in Cardiff could no longer be postponed, how about sending their youngest child Prince Louis to the children's picnic party of Lili? At least there's a Cambridge representative.

It was also confirmed by royal sources that indeed the brothers, their spouses, and children, did not meet during the Jubilee week.  

The Queen banned photographers

It was also claimed that Queen Elizabeth II banned photographers when she met Lili for the first time in Windsor. 

The one-year-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was reportedly introduced to the Queen after Trooping the Colour, in Windsor, but Her Majesty requested the couple not to allow photographers to take photos during the meeting.

"Harry and Meghan wanted their photographer (believed to be Misan Harriman who took the first released photograph of Lili) to capture the moment but they were told No because it was a private meeting", an insider told The Sun.

Related article: Lilibet Diana Mountbatten-Windsor's first released photo

Her Majesty was apparently concerned about how the photographs would be shared later on. It might be shared everywhere including on U.S television networks. 

Investigative journalist, Tom Bower, said: "Meghan must have been furious when she heard that photographs of their Windsor meeting were forbidden. Banned from the balcony for Trooping the Colour, and then the final blow was no shot of Lilibet with her great-grandmother".

He added: "The Sussexes' contract with Netflix is in jeopardy. The veto of photos will fuel the Sussexes' resentment. Harry's reprisal could be more revelations in his book. This is a dangerous game for both sides".

Another royal analyst said, "The fact that Harry and Meghan left before the Jubilee celebration ended on Sunday, June 5, revealed their growing uneasiness with the family"

Related article: The Final Day of the Queen's Jubilee Week

The Sussexes only attended two events during their stay. Trooping the Colour and Service of Thanksgiving, however, they skipped joining the royal family in lunch on both two events. They also left on June 5 even before the Platinum Jubilee Pageant started.

It was also noticeable that Harry and Meghan were virtually absent in key events in the celebration: The Platinum Party at the Palace and Platinum Jubilee Pageant.

Although the royal brothers did not meet during their grandmother's Jubilee week, it was confirmed that the Sussexes met Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The last time William and Harry were photographed together in public was on July 1, 2021 at the unveiling of their mother's statue in Kensington.

The last time William and Harry were photographed together in public
Unveiling of Princess Diana's statue

This royal family drama between brothers, which is unprecedented in British history, continued to intrigue the public. Royal experts commented it that might take long before their relationship be mended, "unless they will sit down and settle their grudges".

This extraordinary "royal feud" between brothers so close to the throne, offers a view of how the House of Windsor moves into a new era.

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