Harry and William shot themselves in the foot as ‘positions hardening with time’

Prince Harry 'didn't have time with family' says expert

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The Duke of Sussex and Duke of Cambridge were very close when they were young, but in recent years their relationship has become very strained. It reportedly started going downhill after William advised his brother to take things slowly with his now-wife Meghan Markle. Everything escalated, however, when Harry and Meghan stepped down as senior royals last year and then decided to air the Royal Family’s dirty laundry on TV with Oprah Winfrey.

The brothers now live across the ocean from each other, but were reunited for their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in April and for the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue this month.

That said, it is understood that the pair barely talk and have yet to sort out the problems that have been coming between them.

Relationship expert and psychotherapist Neil Wilkie urged the princes to speak confidentially on the phone as soon as possible to try and leave the past behind them.

He warned that the longer the feud goes on, the harder it will be to heal the rift and move on from the hurt.

He told “It’s a fascinating situation and the fact it’s all happening in the glare of the media spotlight makes it very hard for them to make any move.

“What I’m seeing is positions are getting hardened as time goes on, it’s harder for them to achieve reconciliation.”

He said he had hoped that the unveiling of the statue would be a good opportunity for the brothers to “show emotions” and connect over their shared experience of losing their mother at a young age.

He said he had hoped they could show each other they love each other and to comfort each other, but this did not happen.

He claimed the princes he saw in the video of the event were “only feet apart but 1,000 miles away emotionally”.

What’s more, while many thought the brothers may speak after the event, instead Harry flew straight back to California.

Mr Wilkie said now that opportunity is gone, he is unsure what could be the catalyst for healing their relationship.

He said: “Now they’re in different parts of the world. What other occasion will there be where they can have these conversations?

“And every day that goes by it becomes less likely. What’s going to break the ice?

“What’s going to cause either of them to make that step of: ‘I’m really sorry that I upset you, I love you and I want us to be brothers as we used to be’?

“It takes openness, it takes vulnerability to do that.”

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He added that another factor in the situation is that Harry is “very much the younger son”; while William knows his destiny is to be King, Harry is very unlikely to ever be on the throne.

This means that William must tow the line, while Harry has more freedom to break away from the institution and get out of his brother’s shadow, and ultimately that is what he decided to do.

The relationship expert said Harry may have not done so in a “particularly elegant way” but, by hook or by crook, he has achieved his goal.

He went on to explain that, if Harry and William truly want to end the feud, they will have to promise to speak privately and not report anything to the media.

He said: “There might be news in what’s said, but if William phoned [Harry] to see if he’s prepared to talk confidentially, what are the downsides of that? I wouldn’t have thought a lot.”

He added that it is important for people who look up to the Royal Family that they demonstrate that, while families can have differences and rifts and arguments, they can deal with it and resolve it.

Finally, he emphasised how important it is for both princes’ children that they fix their relationship.

He said: “The echoes can go on for generations to come and for Lilibet not to have any wider family or acceptance into the wider family is a big loss for her.”

Mr Wilkie is the author of The Relationship Paradigm series of books and creator of the online couples therapy platform, the Relationship Paradigm.

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