Royal Family Feuds That Will Make You Forget About Princes William And Harry

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Long ago were the days of unity between Prince William and Prince Harry, the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex, respectively, as their relationship went from chummy to chilly in what seemed like a matter of days. While the sons of King Charles III and the late Diana Spencer certainly bonded amid strife, their own personal and royal goals and expectations eventually created immense space between them. 

William is now the direct heir to the British throne, as the passing of the late Queen Elizabeth II shifted him up in the line of succession. We are essentially guaranteed to see a William-led era of the royal family, and the prince has navigated his life with that very expectation. Harry, on the other hand, is quite a ways from the throne — behind William's children — and as such is never expected to rule. Carving out his own space — and finally telling his own truth about his royal upbringing and experience — Harry cast aside monarchal expectations and headed for California with his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. What transpired was an aggressive feud between the brothers that has ravaged headlines and family dynamics.

With such high-profile attention on the feud, it can be easy to forget that many royal family members have not seen eye to eye. Conflict has ravaged a number of relationships. So get some popcorn, enjoy "The Crown," and get to the bottom of some of the biggest royal family feuds.

Kate Middleton vs. Meghan Markle

We're starting off with a doozy. While Prince William and Prince Harry certainly didn't see eye to eye throughout their time within the royal family, it was Catherine, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who simply didn't get along from day one. On the surface, the women have little in common. Kate is one of the most beloved members of the royal family — a poised, dedicated mom of three who has worked in service to the crown for years. Meghan, on the other hand, is an American divorcée, a career woman, an actress, and a vocal advocate who made waves in elementary school when commenting on gender equality. When Harry and Meghan decided to strike out on their own in the early moments of their marriage, the cracks between Meghan and Kate became more severe.

As noted by Cosmopolitan, Kate and Meghan really got into it over the royal wedding, with reports at the time claiming that Meghan made Kate cry. There were rumors of "explosive" fights and confrontations, and Kate even reportedly told Meghan exactly what she thought of her over the 2018 Christmas holiday.

Any royal watcher knows that Meghan famously told Oprah Winfrey that it was Kate who made her cry over the wedding details, making it clear that these two will simply never get along. They did unite in grief when Queen Elizabeth II passed, but we don't think fans will see a reunion anytime soon.

Princess Diana vs. King Charles III

This is perhaps one of the most storied and covered feuds in royal family history — Diana Spencer and King Charles III. Their marriage, affairs, conflicts, and admissions of infidelity ravage the headlines even today, and behind closed doors, these two simply did not get along.

Diana was still a teen when then-Prince Charles popped the question, likely due to the pressures he was feeling from the royals — and the public — to finally tie the knot. The book "Charles at Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams" by royal correspondent Robert Jobson claims the king never wanted to marry Diana in the first place (via the Daily Mail).

"I desperately wanted to get out of the wedding in 1981, when during the engagement I discovered just how awful the prospects were, having had no chance to get to know Diana beforehand," Charles reportedly expressed to friends in the years that followed the wedding. Jobson even estimated that Diana would "stare at him blankly" in the lead-up to the wedding when he would explain his royal duties.

Of course, any royal fan knows that Charles was besotted with Camilla, now-queen consort, throughout the duration of his marriage to Diana. Their affair would alter the very course of Diana's life and the future of the monarchy.

Queen Elizabeth II vs. Queen Consort Camilla

When King Charles III was an eligible bachelor, it was the unspoken rule that he was to marry a woman who would not only provide an heir to the throne, but would also be seen as pure, scandal-free, and a bit angelic. Camilla Parker Bowles was no such person, and despite Charles' feelings for her, Queen Elizabeth II — and the firm as a whole — made it clear that she was not the woman for the job.

Despite the obvious conflict, Charles and Camilla continued their affair throughout their individual marriages, and after years of loving each other from afar, they both got divorced and stepped out into public together. Charles wanted to marry Camilla, but per the book "Rebel Prince: The Power and Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles" by Tom Bower, the queen was simply having none of it (via People).

After Charles confronted his mother about his relationship with Camilla in 1997, Bower estimates that the queen called Camilla "that wicked woman" and told her son that she wanted "nothing to do with her." What caused such an extreme response from the queen? Apparently, she had enjoyed a few martinis and let it rip. "She would not condone his adultery, nor forgive Camilla for not leaving Charles alone to allow his marriage to recover," Bower wrote. The queen and Camilla finally ended up seeing eye to eye, but not for several more years.

Camilla Parker Bowles vs. Kate Middleton

Christopher Anderson, the royal expert behind the book "William and Kate: A Royal Love Story," estimates that Camilla Parker Bowles and Kate Middleton were quite at odds in the early years of the young princess' involvement with the royals. As some may recall, Prince William and Kate initially crossed paths while at university, but their early relationship was very on again, off again, much to the ire of royal watchers. But as Anderson noted, Camilla was behind the couple's initial breakup and uneven path.

"I was in London when the breakup [of William and Kate] occurred. I was shocked, completely stunned; everyone thought it was only a matter of time before William was going to ask Kate to marry him. And then people started telling me that Camilla was behind it," Anderson explained, as noted by Express. "She did not look at Kate as someone who was worthy of joining the royal family. Kate is the first working-class woman to be accepted into the royal family. She is descended from coal miners and her mother was a flight attendant ... I was told at the time of the breakup, and later on as well, that Camilla basically whispered in Charles' ear that it was really time to make — to force — William to make a decision one way or the other."

This is particularly surprising, considering that as things stand today, Camilla is rather disliked by the public, whereas Kate is universally adored.

Prince Philip vs. Sarah Ferguson

You might forget about Prince Harry and Prince William's feud when you hear about the tension between Sarah Ferguson and the late Prince Philip. Fergie married Queen Elizabeth and Philip's third child, the now disgraced Prince Andrew, and was a favorite in-law of Philip's, W Magazine notes. Fergie and Philip were said to have connected over their shared sense of humor, and the young duchess' relationship with the queen surely strengthened their bond. But when rumors of infidelity and the toe-sucking scandal — involving a sunbathing Fergie and businessman John Bryan — made headlines, Philip was sickened. Fergie was at Balmoral with the royals when the scandalous pictures made the front page, and Philip was said to have thrown the paper in Fergie's face. This would create a separation between the once close in-laws that even time wouldn't solve.

As noted by Hello! Magazine, the late Duke of Edinburgh was so angered by Fergie's infidelity and the scandal that ravaged the royal family that he refused to be in the same room with her, even decades later. On the rare occasion that they did attend a high-profile event, the discomfort on Philip's face was apparent. Fergie noticeably skipped Philip's funeral in April 2021, clearly showing that this feud was never really put to rest. However, she did attend the queen's funeral in September 2022 and released a statement expressing her affection for the late monarch.

King George VI vs. King Edward VIII

This royal feud requires us to go back in time a little. Before Queen Elizabeth II took the throne, her father, King George VI, was the man in charge. And while he was an admired man who navigated his role to the best of his ability, King George VI was never supposed to be a ruling monarch in the first place. His older brother, King Edward VIII, was first in line to the crown, and he took the throne in 1936. But, as Vanity Fair details, his reign would only last a number of months, as he abdicated within the same calendar year. This caused a rift between the brothers that would change the course of the monarchy for the foreseeable future, not to mention the family dynamic.

Edward famously gave up the throne so he could marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee who was not allowed to become a member of the royal family given her prior marriage. As such, Edward threw caution — and the monarchy — to the wind, forcing his younger brother into an untenable situation.

"The dynamic between the two of them [is] endlessly fascinating — the betrayal, the attempts to behave in a civilized fashion on the rare post-abdication occasions that they saw each other, and of course, the influence that both men's wives had over their thinking," biographer Alexander Larman, author of "The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication," told Vanity Fair of the brothers.

Princess Anne vs. Princess Diana

Of all the members of the royal family, Princess Anne is seen as one of the most dedicated and hardworking, even to this day. Queen Elizabeth II's second eldest child and only daughter, Anne is quite a distance from the throne in the line of succession, but her sense of duty and commitment to the royal way of life has been apparent for decades. This was the crux of her feud with the late Diana Spencer, as royal biographer Ingrid Seward estimated.

Diana was just 20 years old when she married Prince Charles, the direct heir to the throne. As far as Anne was concerned, the young Princess of Wales was too soft and subtle to play the royal part. Anne and Diana "came to an early head at the end of Ascot week in June 1981, barely a month before Diana's marriage," Seward told Vanity Fair of the tension between the two, stemming from Diana's want of approval and Anne's no-fuss attitude.

Royal reporter Richard Kay recalled that Anne simply "did not have time for Diana ... She didn't like the way she went about her duty and the way she used the cameras and the media to promote herself, in her eyes ... Anne had a much more traditional approach to monarchy and royal duty" (via Vanity Fair). Such a distinction caused Anne to "say something rather cutting" to Diana on occasion, clearly displaying that these two had no love lost.

Princess Diana vs. Camilla Parker Bowles

This is the royal feud to end all royal feuds. When Diana Spencer married then-Prince Charles of Wales, the most eligible bachelor was besotted by Camilla Parker Bowles. Their affair was confirmed to have picked back up in 1986. Diana was acutely aware of the relationship, and as noted by Marie Claire, she confronted Camilla about it during a party. Unable to find her husband or Camilla, Diana finally located them sitting on a sofa. The pair looked up at the then-Princess of Wales, who reportedly said, "Please don't treat me like an idiot. I know what's going on."

Diana's former protection officer, Ken Wharfe, recalled that Charles and Camilla couldn't quite believe the princess had plucked up the courage to address the affair. "Camilla sort of said something, to which still to this day I have never really understood what she meant by that, is 'Well, you know, you have two wonderful boys.' ... That was a defining moment in their life because I think at that point ... this was an indicator the end was nigh," he explained.

Of course, Diana said in her infamous 1995 BBC interview that there were "three of us" in her marriage, clearly indicating that Camilla was at the center of her marital demise (via Marie Claire).

Charles Spencer vs. the royal family

When Diana Spencer tragically died in 1997 at the young age of 36, the whole world stopped in its tracks. Her boys, Prince William and Prince Harry, were just 15 and 12 at the time, and as such, her brother, Charles Spencer, vowed to protect them. All eyes were on Diana's brother during her emotional funeral. As noted by Express, Charles' words drove a spear right through the royal family, causing the late Queen Elizabeth II to see red.

"The eulogy was really quite scathing toward the press and the royal family. In fact, two lines in particular were said to have angered the queen," royal expert Roberta Fiorito expressed. "He said: 'Someone with a natural nobility who was classless and who proved in the last year that she needed no royal title to continue to generate her particular brand of magic.' So he basically said she didn't need you guys, she was amazing in her own right."

Turning his attention to his nephews, Diana's brother made it clear that he did not trust the royal family to protect William and Harry, another point of contention that Fiorito highlighted. "He also said to Harry and William: 'I pledge that we, your blood family, will do all we can to continue the imaginative and loving way in which you were steering these two exceptional young men so that their souls are not simply immersed by duty and tradition,'" the royal expert recalled.

King Charles III vs. Prince Andrew

King Charles III and his younger brother, Prince Andrew, do not see eye to eye. Of course, Andrew has been surrounded by scandals thanks to his involvement with Jeffrey Epstein and the since-settled sexual assault case launched against him by accuser Virginia Giuffre. Charles has been "furious" over the ongoing controversy that centers around his brother, with a friend of the royals telling Vanity Fair in 2019 that the brothers couldn't have been more at odds.

"I imagine he will feel that Andrew has let the family down, and that he misled his mother over the interview, and in doing so has compromised the queen," the friend divulged. "He's not always firm with his sons, William and Harry, but he'll take a tough line with Andrew. He will also be furious that the story has totally overshadowed his working tour, and he'll let rip, but he will have a strategy."

But Andrew didn't come to the battle unarmed. As noted by Cosmopolitan, he was said to have lobbied the late Queen Elizabeth II and tried to stop his older brother from becoming king. "[Andrew] tried to persuade the queen to block Charles [from] marrying Camilla by being quite poisonous, mean, unhelpful, and very nasty about Camilla," a senior royal source revealed, noting that Andrew's hostility came from his own inability to one day be king.

The York sisters vs. the Prince and Princess of Wales and King Charles III

Last but certainly not least is Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice versus Kate, William, and Charles. As noted by Express, the princesses — who are Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew's children — are warring with the Prince and Princess of Wales and the king, as the future of the monarchy is changing. Charles has famously wanted to narrow the scope of working royals for years, and has even reportedly considered removing Eugenie and Beatrice's titles. As such, things are very cold between them, and it doesn't look like there will be a thaw anytime soon.

"There is a big story breaking in the royal family that has remained under the radar largely, and it's to do with Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge, and William's father, Prince Charles," royal expert Neil Sean told Express in the summer of 2022. "According to very good sources, Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice are seemingly struggling to remain cordial with Prince William, Catherine, and Charles. It stems from the deal organized by William, the queen, and Prince Charles to remove their father, Prince Andrew, from royal duties following his disgrace in recent years."

Time will tell if Eugenie and Beatrice get to hold onto their royal titles, or if the new king will strip them of their monikers and continue to condense the royal family.