Is Sibling Rivalry The True Cause Behind The Rift Between Prince William And Harry?

For royals fans who watched Prince William and Prince Harry grow up, it seemed the two brothers were bonded for life. They shared a deep love for their late mother, Princess Diana, as well as a dedication to military service and charity. But the once-close relationship has soured in recent years, particularly following Harry's marriage to Meghan Markle. Their relatively short courtship and engagement was reportedly a concern from the start, with some royals experts saying William advised his brother not to jump into marriage so quickly. 

The British tabloids have taken a distinctly anti-Meghan stance. They've painted her as a social-climbing outsider who resented her lower standing within the royal family and chafed at being expected to keep her opinions and personal troubles to herself. Insiders claimed she nudged Harry toward the decision to leave royal life for a life in California where they could pursue their own media projects. Being private citizens also meant the freedom to speak freely, whether in the infamous Oprah interview or in the memoir Harry is writing that could spill some serious palace tea.

But one royals watcher is taking a slightly different view, explaining that the problem between the brothers actually began long before Meghan entered the picture.

One expert says Harry felt unappreciated for years

In an interview with Entertainment Daily!, commentator Richard Fitzwilliams says that the brothers' unequal status within the royal family was a sore point for years. As the younger sibling to the future British monarch, Harry is in the same position as such royals as Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, and the queen's sister Princess Margaret: important, but not influential. "Many think that the fact that William grew up knowing he would one day be king and Harry had no defined role, led to rivalry between brothers who were considered inseparable," says Fitzwilliams. 

The royals watcher goes on to say that the Duke of Sussex was upset over being portrayed as "the royal wild child" by the media, despite his military service and good works. In the meantime, "however he behaved," William was portrayed as the serious, hardworking one who was upholding the family's dignity. Fitzwilliams adds that his marriage "unquestionably changed him," but that the seeds of the split were sown long ago. He added, "Harry now believes he was trapped as a member of the royal family, and that William currently is but doesn't know it."

Are the brothers any closer to making up? It depends on who you listen to. Documentarian Nick Bullen recently claimed that William and Harry are still at odds and that a reconciliation is "unlikely" anytime in the near future. On a more hopeful note, another insider has told Us Weekly that the brothers — along with Meghan and William's wife, Kate Middleton — are having regular, casual chats through Zoom and FaceTime.