Inside Prince Harry and Prince William's Royal Rift Which Has Hit an 'All-Time Low'

The royal rift between Prince William and Prince Harry is alive and well.

In June 2024, royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET that relations between William and his wife, Kate Middleton, and Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, remain "at an all-time low."

It's not a totally unexpected update, as the duo has long shown signs of a serious rift, even before Harry and Meghan made the decision to step away from royal life and relocate to America in 2020.

Princes Harry and William Unveil Diana Statue: Royal Expert and Body Language Reader Decode Reunion

Prince Harry and Prince William

Getty

Things have not improved in the following years, even as both King Charles III and the Princess of Wales battle cancer.

In November 2023, a source close to the matter told ET that Harry and William's relationship "has not improved since the publication of [Harry's memoir] Spare and there is no reconciliation expected anytime soon."

"There is no real trust at the moment and that needs to be rebuilt," the source said. "There's a great deal of hurt on both sides."

Now, ET delves into what went wrong in the brothers' relationship, what was said in Harry's memoir and where they stand today.

Harry Was Always the 'Spare'

Royals

Princess Diana with Prince Harry, Prince William and their dad, King Charles III

David Levenson/Getty Images

In his memoir, Spare, Harry says the term was used throughout his life by "Pa and Mummy and Grandpa. And Even Granny."

"I was the shadow, the support, the Plan B," he writes. "I was brought into the world in case something happened to Willy. I was summoned to provide back-up, distraction, diversion and, if necessary, a spare part. Kidney, perhaps. Blood transfusion. Speck of bone marrow. This was all made explicitly clear to me from the start of life's journey and regularly reinforced thereafter."

William Told Harry to Act Like He Didn't Know Him at School

When Harry moved to Eton school, his older brother wanted distance between them.

"Willy always hated it when anyone made the mistake of thinking us a package deal," Harry writes in Spare. "He loathed it when Mummy dressed us in the same outfits... And now to attend the same school was pure murder."

William Roasts Harry in a Joint Interview

Prince William and Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Prince William

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Harry recalls living with William and training to go into combat as a young man. During a rare joint interview with the brothers, Harry says that William called him out for being a "slob" and snoring.

"I turned and gave him a look. Was he joking?" Harry ponders in his memoir.

Harry says he laughed it off at the time considering it to be "banter," but adds, "When I look back on it now, I can't help but wonder if there wasn't something else at play. I was training to get to the front line, the same place Willy had been training to get, but the Palace had scuttled his plans. The Spare, sure, let him run around a battlefield like a chicken with its head cut off, if that's what he likes. But the Heir? No."

Harry Says William Never Told Him About His Engagement to Kate Middleton

After a trip together to Africa, Harry writes about learning that William and Kate were engaged in the tabloids.

He says his brother "never mentioned it" during their time together.

Harry Notes That He Wasn't Really William's Best Man

Prince Harry and Kate Middleton
POOL/ Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

Though he was "officially" noted as William's best man, Harry claims William actually considered two other friends as his best men. The second-born says his older brother didn't want to give him the opportunity to give a speech at his wedding to Kate.

“He didn’t think it safe to hand me a live mic and put me in a position to go off script. I might say something wildly inappropriate," Harry writes. "He wasn’t wrong."

William Is Upset By Harry's Pitch

Prince Harry's Best Moments of 2023: 'Spare,' King Charles’ Coronation and a Historic Legal Victory

This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

Up Next

Prince Harry's Best Moments of 2023: 'Spare,' King Charles’ Coronation and a Historic Legal Victory

In 2013, Harry pitched his own version of the Warrior Games which would include wounded veterans participating in Paralympic games. He says that William, who was about to welcome his son George at the time, was "sorely irritated" by Harry's pitch.

"What was going on here? I wondered. Then I realized: My God, sibling rivalry," Harry writes. "Had we not got past this yet? The whole Heir versus Spare thing?"

Growing Distance Between Harry, William and Kate

Though he writes that he was "delighted" for the couple after they welcomed their son, Prince George, Harry also talks about further distance between them. Though Harry moved into Nottingham Cottage very close to his brother and sister-in-law, they did not have the casual hang outs he'd envisioned.

"I assumed they'd have me over any minute now. Any day," he writes. "But day after day it didn't happen."

William Stood in His Way

While talking about wanting to go to Africa for conservation work, Harry writes that William stood in his way.

"Africa was his thing, he said," Harry claims. "And he had the right to say this, or felt he did, because he was the Heir. It was ever in his power to veto my thing, and he had every intention of exercising, even flexing, that veto power. We had some real rows about it... It was so obvious. He cared less about finding his purpose or passion than about winning his lifelong competition with me."

Early Tensions

Royals

Prince Harry and Prince William

Daniel Leavl-Olivas-Pool Getty Images

Long before Meghan came on the scene, the brothers had back-and-forth tension, according to the book Battle of Brothers: William and Harry - The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult. 

"I would say that there were stresses and strains there before and then with the advent of Meghan, that was what provoked the really big break," author and royal historian Robert Lacey told ET. "William, from all the turmoil of their childhood, took strength from the idea of his duty and what lay ahead for him as king... Harry caught onto the importance of love. So, when he found Meghan, he went for that, and when William said to him, 'Look, perhaps you should slow down a bit,' Harry exploded. William then went to his uncle, Charles -- who is Diana's brother who had been a sort of godfather to the boys -- and asked him to intervene and suggest to Harry that he slow down. And Harry rejected William's model. He knew what he wanted, he loved this woman, and he was going to marry her so that was certainly the beginning of the rift."


For more on the brothers, here's a year-by-year look at their royal rift.

October 2016

Harry claims that William and Kate told him to "f**k off" when he first shared the news that he was dating Meghan.

"I was baffled, until Willy and Kate explained that they were regular — nay, religious — viewers of Suits," he recalls, joking that he was worried "about the wrong thing" and was not expecting them to "barrage" him with questions.

"All this time I’d thought Willy and Kate might not welcome Meg into the family, but now I had to worry about them hounding her for an autograph," Harry writes.

He says he expressed it had "long been my dream -- to join them with an equal partner, to become a foursome."

He claims William had often replied, "It might not happen, Harold! And you've got to be OK with that." Harry says that with Meghan he felt it would happened, but that William cautioned him to "slow down.

"She's an American actress after all, Harold," Harry claims William told him. "Anything might happen."

Late 2016

Of his brother and future wife's first meeting, Harry notes that Meghan hugged William, "which completely freaked him out."

"He recoiled," Harry writes. "Willy didn't hug many strangers. Whereas Meg hugged most strangers. The moment was a classic collision of cultures, like flashlight-torch, which felt to me both funny and charming. Later, however, looking back, I wondered if it was more than that. Maybe Willy expected Meg to curtsey?"

He adds that "Willy got over it" and later says that William told him "Happy for you, Harold."

January 2017

Meghan and Kate met for the first time early in 2017. In the book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, a friend described Kateas "extremely guarded," during the interaction. This sentiment was reiterated by Meghan in the couple's Netflix docuseries.

"Even when Will and Kate came over and I had met her for the first time... They came for dinner," Meghan said. "I remember I was in ripped jeans and I was barefoot. I was a hugger, always been a hugger. I didn't realize that that is really jarring for a lot of Brits."

Meghan added that what she began to realize was that William and Kate and other members of the British royal family were formal both in public and behind the scenes.

"I guess I started to understand very quickly that the formality on the outside carried through on the inside," she said. "That there is a forward-facing way of being. And then you close the door, 'Oh, great. OK, we can relax now.' But that formality carries over on both sides and that was surprising to me."

August 2017

On the 20th anniversary of Diana's death, Harry and William got together at the Spencer estate in Althorp where Harry says William expressed he felt Diana was there with them.

"I think she's been in my life, Harold. Guiding me. Setting things up for me," Harry recalls William saying. "I think she's helped me start a family. And I feel as though she's helping you now too."

But when Harry agrees and says, "I feel as though she helped me find Meg," he says William "took a step back."

"He looked concerned. That seemed to be taking things a bit far," Harry writes. "'Well, no Harold, I'm not sure about that. I wouldn't say THAT!"

2017

Royals

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and Prince William

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

According to the book Finding Freedom, William expressed some concerns about the speed of Harry's relationship with Meghan.

After some of Harry's close friends spoke out warning him of the whirlwind romance, William also confronted his brother. "Don't feel like you need to rush this," William told Harry, according to sources in the book. "Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl."

"Harry was pissed off," another source said. "Pissed off that his brother would ask such a thing. Some felt it was an overreaction. But then this totally sums them up as people -- William the calm and rational one, and Harry who can't help but take things far too personally."

In Spare, Harry writes that William felt he was moving "too fast."

"In fact, he'd actually been pretty discouraging about my even dating Meg," Harry writes of his brother.

May 2018

Going against protocol, Harry asked the queen if he could keep his beard on his wedding day despite wearing his military uniform. He notes that his beard helps with his anxiety and that Meghan has never seen him without it during their time together.

He says William "bristled" when he learned Queen Elizabeth approved the decision.

"You put her in an uncomfortable position, Harold! She had no choice but to say yes," Harry claims William said, adding, "Willy always thought Granny had a soft spot for me, that she indulged me while holding him to an impossibly high standard."

He says William even went so far as to order him to shave it off, claiming his brother finally admitted he was so upset by it because he wasn't allowed to keep his own beard.

"He hated the idea of me enjoying a perk he'd been denied," Harry claims.

June 2018

Prince Harry and Prince William

Prince Harry and Prince William

Brian Lawless - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Harry says that William and Kate invited him and Meghan for tea "to clear the air."

He writes, "Willy and Kate were apparently upset that we hadn't given them Easter presents," which he says he'd never done before. Harry claims they apologized and Harry notes that he and Meghan expressed they were upset the Cambridges had switched place cards at their wedding to sit apart. Harry says the couple claimed they hadn't done that and accused them of doing the same thing at Pippa Middleton's wedding.

Kate then allegedly told Meghan she felt she was owed an apology after Meghan talked about her "baby brain" and "hormones."

"Willy pointed at Meg. It's rude, Meghan. It's not what' done here in Britain," Harry claims his brother said to his wife. To which he says she replied, "Kindly take your finger out of my face."

December 2018

In Spare Harry writes that he and Meghan arranged a second "summit" with William and Kate about fake stories being planted about them in the press. He says Kate took responsibility for the making Meghan cry during the bridal fittings despite the press reporting the opposite. But Meghan wanted to know why their office had done nothing to refute the stories.

"Kate, flustered, didn't answer, and Willy chimed in with some very supportive-sounding evasions, but I already knew the truth," Harry writes. "No one at the Palace could phone the correspondent, because that would invite the inevitable retort: Well, if the story's wrong, what's the real story? What did happen between the two duchesses? And that door must never be opened, because it would embarrass the future queen."

He says that William finally admitted that during a dinner with Charles and Camilla he'd "let slip that there'd been strife between the two couples," which he believes led to the leak.

December 2018

Despite the obsession over the "Fab Four" -- Harry, Meghan, William, and Kate -- there seemed to be trouble in paradise. Months after Harry and Meghan's royal wedding, a source told ET that there was tension in the family after concerns had been expressed about the Suits star.

A royal source told ET that "tension does still exist" between the two after William originally voiced his "concerns" about Meghan when she first started dating his brother.

According to our source, the conversation didn't go over well with Harry, and they still have "not mended completely."

"Other members of the royal family also expressed their unease about their relationship," added the source, "but Harry was steadfast and absolutely besotted with Meghan."

March 2019

Royals

Prince Harry, Prince William, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images

After years of Harry and William working together under the Kensington Palace banner, the royal households officially split in early 2019.

"The Queen has agreed to the creation of a new Household for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, following their marriage in May last year," Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time. "The Household, which will be created with the support of The Queen and The Prince of Wales, will be established in the spring. The Duke of Sussex currently has his own private office, which has been supporting The Duchess since Their Royal Highness's engagement in November 2017. This long-planned move will ensure that permanent support arrangement for the Duke of Duchess's work are in place as they start their family and move to their official residence at Frogmore Cottage."

According to Harry in his Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, this separation led to William's office planting stories against him and Meghan in the press.

"William and I saw what happened in our Dad's office and we made an agreement that we would never let that happen in our office," Harry recalled in the docuseries, noting how the different communications teams for the different members of the royal family were often at odds. "To see my brother's office copying the same thing that we promised the two of us would never ever do, that was heartbreaking."

April 2019

Harry and Meghan moved out of their Kensington Palace residence ahead of Archie's birth and relocated to Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, England.

April 2019

The Sunday Times released a report that the Palace was considering a move to Africa for Harry and Meghan. In the couple's Netflix docuseries, Harry accused the story of being leaked, saying that once plans are leaked to the press, they rarely come to fruition.

April 2019

Royals

Royal Family

Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Just days before the birth of Harry and Meghan's son, Archie, Harry and William were visibly distant at Easter services at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

A source told ET there was an obvious distance between the two at the service. Harry arrived at the church separate from Will and Kate and stood at a distance from his brother when the Queen arrived. In the past, Harry would walk in with Will and Kate, with whom he is so close, the source noted.

At the time, the source said the brothers were at "different stages in their life" and were "no longer the boys" they once were.

June 2019

Things were looking up following the arrival of baby Archie. William was reportedly excited to have his brother join the dad club at the time.

"It's absolutely the case that the brothers did fall out," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET at the time. "I was told by a very senior royal source that actually they weren't talking to each other at one point. I certainly think now that Archie is here, it has probably really helped to improve the relationship. William is over-the-moon that his brother is a dad."

June 2019 

After separating offices, Harry and Meghan also exited The Royal Foundation charity to start their own organization.

"The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation," a statement read at the time.

October 2019

Harry writes in Spare that after he became emotional at the WellChild Awards, he received a call from William.

"He said I wasn't well. He said again that I needed help," Harry writes of his brother, and claims William though Harry was being "brainwashed" in therapy. "His strategy was patently obvious: I was unwell, which meant I was unwise. As if all my behavior needed to be called into question. I worked hard at keeping my texts to him civil. Nonetheless, the exchange turned into an argument, which stretched over 72 hours."

Harry says that after months of therapy he was "a stranger to my older brother."

"He could no longer relate to me -- tolerate me," he says of William.

Harry says he saved the texts and that in the final texts, William told him he loved him.

October 2019

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

In their tell-all documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Harry opened up about the rumors of a rift between him and William.

"We don't see each other as much as we used to because we're so busy. But I love him dearly and the majority of stuff is created out of nothing," Harry shared. "As brothers, you have good days, you have bad days."

January 2020

After lots of behind-the-scenes back and forth, the Sussexes released a "personal message" declaring that they planned to split their time between the United Kingdom and North America as they intended to continue to support the queen in their charity work. The couple's decision to release the message came without the support of the other royals and led to a very dramatic back and forth within the family.

"William is understandably frustrated by his brother's decision," a royal source said at the time, adding that some other members of the royal family called the move "selfish."

ET also spoke with royal expert Katie Nicholl shortly after the announcement was made and she said, "I'm told privately that William is absolutely devastated and quite shocked by this decision for Harry to step down from the royal family."

January 2020

A summit between the senior royals was called in early 2020 as Harry and Meghan's future remained up in the air.

"It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren't true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and take it all in," Harry recalled in Harry & Meghan.

"This wedge created between me and my brother so that he's now on the Institution's side, and part of that I get," Harry said of William, who is next in line to the British royal throne. "I understand, right? That's his inheritance. So to some extent it's already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability of the continuation of this institution."

January 2020 

A joint statement allegedly written from both William and Harry was released by the Palace later that month, slamming a "false story" written by a U.K. newspaper speculating on the tension in their relationship.

"For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful," the statement read at the time.

In his Netflix docuseries, Harry claims that the statement was released without his consent and that he was shocked to see his name put on it. He and Meghan were especially hurt that after years of seeing false headlines about themselves with the Palace refusing to comment.

"I couldn't believe it. No one had asked me. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that," Harry said.

Harry recounted calling Meghan to tell her what had happened, saying she "burst into floods of tears" because within four hours "they were happy to lie to protect my brother and yet for three years they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us."

February 2020

Things were looking up after the tense summit. A source told ET that the brothers were "talking more and they're on better footing" after a difficult period.

"The brothers don't hate each other as has been reported," a royal source told ET at the time, adding that "they do talk."

March 2020

Royals

Prince Harry, Prince William, Meghan Markle and King Charles III

Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images

William and Kate took a curiously-timed trip to Ireland as Harry and Meghan returned to the U.K. for their final engagements. While the Sussexes were on their "farewell tour" of England, William and Kate made a three-day trip to Ireland, only meeting up with their estranged family members at the Commonwealth Day service. Harry later revealed that the service was the first time he'd come face-to-face with his family since their tense summit and that the perceived distance was very real.

May 2020

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Harry and William reconnected.

"There have been clearly some quite major rifts in that relationship, but things have got better and I know that William and Harry are in touch on the phone," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET at the time. "They have done video calls together, they have done a lot of family birthdays and I think with Prince Charles not being well, that really forced the brothers to pick up the phone and get back in touch."

July 2020

The book Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family was released, leading to many headlines about Harry and Meghan's struggles within the royal family. Though Harry and Meghan both claimed to not being involved in the book at all, it still reopened wounds.

"I think it's safe to say that this has done the relationship no help at all," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET of the book's impact on Harry and William's relationship. "I do know that the royal family's concern about this book is that it was going to open up old wounds and I think it very much has done that."

December 2020

The holidays brought the brothers back together.

"There were phone and video calls over the Christmas and New Year holiday and the Sussexes sent presents to the Cambridges and vice versa," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET. "It was an opportunity in an otherwise very busy and chaotic year for both of the families to come together and connect, albeit virtually."

"Things are a lot better between William and Harry. If you go back a year at that stage, these brothers were barely on talking terms," she recalled. "When William went to the Sandringham Summit, he was so angry with his brother. He couldn't even face going to that lunch with the Queen. He only went for the meetings, such was his frustration and feeling of disappointment about what his brother had done and how Harry was handling the situation."

January 2021

Things were looking up in the New Year. Nicholl told ET that the brothers were speaking "relatively regularly" after reconnecting over the holidays.

"There's a great sense of relief, certainly within the royal family, that the relations between the brothers are much better," she added.

February 2021

Despite this apparent progress, the fractures in the relationship continued when Harry and Meghan officially stepped down as senior royals following the year-long trial period.

A source close to Harry told ET at the time that he was disappointed he couldn't retain his honorary military appointments. As for Harry's relationship with his older brother, the source said that "it's not where it once was."

"However, they are brothers and will support each other," the source said.

March 2021

Harry and Meghan

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Netflix

Harry and Meghan's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey sent the Palace into chaos. From claims that a senior member of the royal family questioned the color of their future son's skin to Meghan's claims that Kate made her cry during wedding prep, the Sussexes' headline-making interview only served to further the divides between the brothers.

Royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET that William was "devastated" by the interview and shortly after it aired, William was seen responding to one reporter asking if the royal family was racist.

"We are very much not a racist family," William told a reporter, adding that "I haven't spoken to [Harry] yet, but I will do."

In the Netflix docuseries, Harry & Meghan, Harry is seen showing his wife an alleged text from William in the aftermath of the interview without revealing exactly what that text said.

March 2021

Gayle King said she spoke with the couple following their interview and revealed that Harry had spoken with William and their father, King Charles III.

"The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive, but they are glad they have at least started a conversation," King said of Harry's post-interview talks with his family.

April 2021

Prince William and Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Prince William

Mark Large-WPA Pool/Getty Images

Harry returned to the U.K. for the funeral of his grandfather, Prince Philip. In Harry & Meghan he shared that the event forced him to speak with his estranged father and brother about their divides.

He said that going back to the U.K. was hard, "especially spending time having chats with my brother and my father, who just, were very focused on the same misinterpretation of the whole situation. So none of us really wanted to have to talk about it at my grandfather's funeral, but we did. I've had to make peace with the fact that we're probably never gonna get genuine accountability or a genuine apology."

April 2021

Harry writes in Spare about that conversation, saying Harry invoked their mother's name.

During their discussion after Prince Philip's funeral, Harry notes that William was upset saying he never came to him to express his concerns.

"Since boyhood that had been Willy's position on everything," Harry writes. "I must come to him. Pointedly, directly, formally -- bend the knee. Otherwise, no aid from the Heir," Harry writes. "I wondered why I should have to ask my brother to help when my wife and I were in peril."

Harry says William once again got physical, grabbing his shirt and saying, "Listen to me, Harold."

He says William swore on his mother's life he wanted Harry to be happy.

"He'd gone there. He'd used the secret code, the universal password," Harry writes. "Ever since we were boys those three words were to be used only in times of extreme crisis."

Harry says that despite the fact that it "stopped me cold," he didn't believe his brother or "fully trust" him.

"He saw it too. He saw that we were in a place of such hurt and doubt that even those sacred words couldn't set us free," Harry writes of William.

July 2021

Prince William and Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Prince William

ui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Harry and William once again reunited in person, this time to unveil the Kensington Palace statue of their late mother, Princess Diana. The brothers debuted the statue together, putting on a "united front" amid the ongoing rift rumors.

"I think both of them have wanted today to be about the statue, about remembering Diana's legacy, and not about the rift that has really overshadowed the coverage of the royal family for the past 18 months," royal expert Katie Nicholl shared at the time. "So they clearly went to a lot of effort to deflect from this rift between the two of them."

April 2022

Harry appeared to be interested in mending the relationship with William.

"Harry, I'm told, suggested perhaps that they might get some sort of a mediator in on sort of these talks, to make some progress," royal expert Katie Nicholl revealed of Harry. "It was something that he had suggested to his father. He's made it very clear that he wants to sort things out. He wants things to be improved."

June 2022

As Harry and Meghan returned to the U.K. to celebrate the queen's Platinum Jubilee, the brothers didn't appear to be on better terms. As they attended the National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral they were seated apart, with Harry seated next to his cousins Princess Eugenie and Beatrice.

September 2022

Royals

Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and Prince William

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 before either William or Harry could make it to her bedside in Scotland. The brothers appeared to be seemingly united amid the official events surrounding their grandmother's death. William and Kate invited Harry and Meghan to an official walkabout outside of Windsor Castle to greet mourners and see the tributes to the late monarch.

Harry and William also stood vigil at their grandmother's coffin while she was lying in state ahead of her funeral. When the time came for the funeral, the brothers processed behind the coffin together in a touching display.

October 2022

Despite their show of unity surrounding the queen's death, the brothers remained distant. In her new book The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown, royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET about the continued rift and why William just can't forgive his brother.

"William simply cannot forgive Harry. Not just for leaving, but for how he left," Nicholl explained.

November 2022

William and Kate visited Boston but made no plans to see Harry and Meghan during their brief trip to America.

December 2022

Harry and Meghan's Netflix docuseries is released once again featuring the couple making a series of claims against the royal family and their treatment within the institution. Though the royals don't officially comment, a royal source claimed that William and Charles were not consulted about the series' content, despite a disclaimer at the start of the episodes.

"Well, I think that given the allegations that Harry has made in the latest three episodes of this docuseries are so personal towards his brother, I think it really does set back any chance of a reconciliation for the foreseeable future," royal expert Katie Nicholl shared after the final three episodes were released. "Even if William hasn't watched this docuseries, and it's my understanding that he hasn't, he will be very aware of the headlines. He will be very aware of the damage inflicted on his reputation, and I think it also goes a long way in explaining why the brothers are not on talking terms."

William is reportedly avoiding communication with his brother ahead of Harry's tell-all memoir, Spare, which is set to be released in January.

January 2023

ITV and 60 Minutes interview Harry about his tell-all book, where the Duke of Sussex shares his desire to have both his brother and father back in his life.

"I would like to get my father back. I would like to get my brother back," Harry tells ITV's Tom Bradby.

While Harry is willing to reconcile with the pair, he tells ITV that neither William or Charles have shown any willingness to mend their strained relationship. Instead, he claims, they prefer to continue the narrative that he and his wife are the "villains" in this years-long rift.

In his conversation with CNN's Anderson Cooper, Harry details his struggles to keep his conversation with members of the royal family "private."

"Every single time I've tried to do it privately, there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife," Harry says.

The way they're portrayed in the press, Harry says, is something Buckingham Palace has control over, calling Buckingham Palace's unwillingness to "protect" him and Meghan a "betrayal."

In an excerpt from Spare, the royal details an alleged altercation between himself and William. Harry describes a confrontation at his London home in 2019 in which he says William called Meghan "difficult," "rude" and "abrasive," something the Duke of Sussex called a "parrot[ing of] the press narrative" about his wife.

According to Harry, the altercation resulted in a visible injury to his back and is said to be one of many heated moments between the pair moments detailed in the upcoming memoir.

Harry claims that William urged him to hit back, referencing fights that they had growing up. Harry said he refused to do so, prompting William to leave. He later returned, Harry says, "looking regretful, and apologized."

William reportedly urged Harry not to tell Meghan about the fight, and while Harry did not immediately tell his wife, he writes that he called his therapist. Meghan did eventually find out after discovering "scrapes and bruises" on her husband's back and is said to have felt "terribly sad" about the ordeal.

The shocking accusations continue in which Harry claims that his brother and his sister-in-law encouraged him to wear his infamous Nazi uniform to a costume party in 2005. Harry writes that the Prince and Princess of Wales "howled with laughter" when they saw him in the outfit and urged him to pick the Nazi costume as opposed to a pilot one.

"I phoned Willy and Kate, asked what they thought. Nazi uniform, they said," Harry claims, before sharing that he brought the costume to try it on. "They both howled," he alleges. "Worse than Willy's leotard outfit! Way more ridiculous! Which, again, was the point."

Harry, who was 20 at the time, was photographed in the military shirt and red swastika armband -- a photo that would quickly make headlines around the world. William, who was also in attendance, dressed as a lion.

Harry issued an apology back then, and discussed the incident on his docuseries, calling it "one of the biggest mistakes of my life."

May 2023

Despite traveling thousands of miles to celebrate his father's big day, Prince Harry was not welcomed with open arms by his brother or his family.

At Westminster Abbey on May 6, the brothers did not appear to share words or any exchanges amid the festivities of the day, which came just months after Harry released his memoir, Spare.

Similarly, Harry had no public interactions with his father.

The Duke of Sussex was spotted entering the ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday morning with his cousins, Princess Beatrice, Princes Eugenie, and Zara Tindall, as well as their respective spouses. He seemed in good spirits, smiling and chatting with Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, and sat with his family -- next to Eugenie's husband, Jack Brooksbank, and directly behind his aunt, Anne, Princess Royal, who he also talked to.

Harry also joined the crown in reciting "God Save King Charles" following his father's crowning and sang along to "God Save the King" as the monarch processed out of Westminster Abbey.

Following the ceremony, Harry was seen waiting alone outside Westminster Abbey for 10 minutes before getting into a black BMW sedan and departing.

November 2023 

Following a report from The Sunday Times that stated Harry and Meghan had turned down the chance to visit the U.K. for his father's birthday, a rep for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has denied that they declined to appear.

In their story, The Sunday Times reported that the newly crowned King Charles will celebrate his 75th at Clarence House over the next weekend ahead of his actual birthday on Nov. 14.

On Nov. 6, however, the Sussex's spokesperson shared an alternative version of the story, saying they had not yet been invited to attend.

"In response to U.K. media headlines, there has been no contact regarding an invitation to His Majesty’s upcoming birthday. It is disappointing the Sunday Times has misreported this story," a spokesperson for the couple said.

Just days prior, a source told ET that between Harry and William: "There is no real trust at the moment and that needs to be rebuilt."

"There's a great deal of hurt on both sides," the source added.

What's more, the source told ET that nothing would make the king happier than if his sons could mend their differences.

"While Charles loves his younger son, the relationship is still complicated. Father and son do not communicate regularly and that will take some time to heal," the source said. "The relationship with the rest of the family also remains frayed after Harry's book and the Sussex's Netflix series. The King would like to see his grandchildren Archie and Lili as would the rest of the royal family. For now, at least, that seems to be a long way off."

January 2024 

After it was announced that their father, King Charles III, had been diagnosed with cancer, Harry left his home in California and flew to the U.K. for a quick visit. The visit marked the first time since May 2023 that all three were in the same country together.

During the trip, the Duke of Sussex -- sans Meghan --visited his father at Clarence House. Charles delayed his return to Sandringham in order to see his son.

"They spent around 30 minutes together as Charles was still a bit tired from the treatment a day prior," a source told ET at the time. "Prince Harry has now left the U.K. after spending only about 24 hours in London."

Harry and William did not see each other at that time as the Prince of Wales was preoccupied with additional royal duties due to his father and wife Kate's recent hospitalizations.

March 2024

The brothers appeared separately at the Diana Legacy Awards in London.

"This evening’s Legacy Award is particularly special as it marks the 25th anniversary year of the Diana Award — a charity set up to reflect my mother’s belief that young people can change the world," said William while speaking to the crowd.

The Diana Award told People that Harry would "be a key part of our Legacy Awards celebration, which takes place over the course of this week." They noted that he was "scheduled to speak with the award recipients virtually the same evening of the Awards to celebrate their accomplishments."

The same month, Kate announced her cancer diagnosis. In the wake of the news, ET learned that Harry and Meghan privately reached out to William and Kate.

May 2024

When Harry traveled to the U.K. for an Invictus Games event, he reunited with family on his mother, Princess Diana's, side, but did not see his brother or father.

"When you look at the inaugural Invictus Games back in 2014... he had support from his father and from Prince William," royal expert Katie Nicholl told ET. "... You could see that wonderful closeness between Charles and his sons, and you could see how happy Harry was to have the support of his older brother."

"When you consider that this is the 10th anniversary, this felt a little flat, I think it's fair to say," she added. "He certainly cut a pretty lonely figure... He looked very much an outsider over here in Britain."

Around the same time, Charles appointed William the Colonel-in-Chief of the Army Air Corps, even though it was Harry who actually served in the very unit that William will be in charge of.

"His brother's taken over the role that I think Harry would have expected to have come to him, had he still been a working member of the royal family," Nicholl told ET. "So, yes, I think the timing does feel poignant. And, yes, I think it's probably another slap in the face for Prince Harry, and yet another reminder that he's very much out rather than in when it comes to the royal family."

June 2024

Nicholl gave another update on the brothers' relationship in June, telling ET, "Relations between the Sussexes and the Wales remains at an all-time low. I'm told that William and Harry really are not even on speaking terms."

That seems to be supported by the invite situation related to the wedding of Hugh Grosvenor, 7th Duke of Westminster, who tied the knot with Olivia Henson on June 7.

"Both brothers were invited," Nicholl said. "Harry very diplomatically declined the invite, because he knew it would just be too awkward for him to be even in a venue as large as Chester Cathedral with his brother."

As Nicholl explained, Grosvenor is "close friends of both William and Harry. In fact, he's godfather to [their children], Prince Archie and to Prince George. So I think he was in a very difficult position when it came to invitations, and of course, seating plans and everything else."

"Prince William is going to be an usher and that part of that role will be to show other guests to their seats, so you can only imagine how awkward it would be if Harry and Megan turned up, and it was William showing them to their seats," Nicholl noted. "But he won't have to come into any awkward encounters. He'll know many of the people there... William's going to feel very much at home, and will, I'm sure, consider it a great honor to be asked to be an usher. It is it is a privilege."

Nicholl said it was also likely Harry's intention was to not overshadow Grosvenor's big day with his presence.

"I think the thing with Harry turning up is, it's always going to generate headlines, and therefore risk overshadowing whatever it is that he's attending," Nicholl said. "I suspect, if you're the groom and and you've got this huge society wedding, that's probably not what you want."

RELATED CONTENT:

Prince William and Prince Harry Separately Attend Award Ceremony Dedicated to Mother Diana

Prince William Attends Wedding Solo of Prince Harry's Son's Godfather

Prince Harry and Prince William's Relationship Has Hit 'All-Time Low'

Prince Harry Reunites With Diana's Family in UK Amid Royal Rift

Advertisement