Royal Expert Suggests A Sad Truth Behind Prince William And Prince Harry's Rift

Sisters and brothers are the closest blood relatives a person can have, so when a sibling relationship goes sour, it's always sad news. In the case of Princes William and Harry, their rift seems even more painful than the average brotherly fight. Every headline that mentions their feud seems more uncomfortable than the last, whether it's Harry suggesting to Oprah that his brother is "trapped" in the monarchy, or William's reported disappointment over his brother's exit from royal life. The estrangement is even being called "the hardest thing William has gone through" since their mother Diana's death (per the Daily Mail). How did things go so wrong?

Kinsey Schofield, founder of the royals website ToDiForDaily, has long followed the Windsors and has some insight into the princes' relationship. In an exclusive interview with The List, Schofield explains that William and Harry had a special bond as children because of their shared "traumatic upbringing." They turned to each other for support during their parents' bitter divorce, their mother's tragic death, and their father's remarriage to Camilla Parker Bowles.

Later, when they were old enough to be allowed internet access, they became a research team looking for the truth behind all the rumors and headlines. "There were moments in time where it was truly Prince William and Prince Harry against the world," Schofield says. "The kind of energy that Princess Diana would have loved." Then things took a turn when love interests entered the brothers' lives.

The brothers disagreed over Harry's timing

The addition of Kate Middleton to the mix was made less awkward because of the time element, explains Schofield: "Kate was around for 10 years before the marriage. There was plenty of time for that friendship [between her and Harry] to manifest." Indeed, Kate became a big-sister figure, Harry became a devoted uncle, and the three became a team working together on meaningful charities. "They were making a positive impact and they were drama-free," she says.

Then came Meghan. Schofield says that the brothers' tensions began when Harry took offense at William's advice to wait a little longer before marrying. (The couple dated for two years and wed after a six-month engagement, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.) "Harry is sensitive — a trait he likely inherited from Princess Diana — and defiant, a trait he definitely inherited from [her]," she says. Then the relationship grew frostier as Harry and Meghan opted not to discuss their "Megxit" decision with William. "After years of secrets being kept from [the princes], now secrets were being kept from Prince William by Prince Harry," says Schofield.

Schofield also suggests that Harry and Meghan might have done better to wait out palace life a little longer. "I imagine a lot of things would have changed for them in the U.K. during a global pandemic ... Maybe tensions would have settled and things would have gradually fallen into place." Instead, the two made their move and spilled the tea to Oprah. "[Harry's] only ally was the woman digging his grave even deeper with his family members," Schofield says.

This upcoming event could be a pivotal moment for William and Harry

Are the two brothers fated to a future of resentment and separation? Schofield says that although William doesn't necessarily like the person Harry has become, "he loves Prince Harry and has always looked out for him," she says. "One of the last phone calls William made to Princess Diana before she died was about trying to protect Prince Harry's feelings." She feels there may be hope for them, but it won't come overnight. "It will take a significant amount of time for Prince William to trust his brother again, but the desire is there." 

Many are holding out hope that the upcoming unveiling of a Princess Diana statue on July 1 will offer an opportunity for brotherly reconciliation. Schofield, however, disagrees. "They have to address their issues sooner than later," she says. "If Diana's statue unveiling becomes a huge fight about Meghan Markle behind closed doors, what a selfish way to honor your mother's legacy. That is when I believe there would be no turning back."