Prince Philip funeral: Prince Harry sits alone in chapel
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The Commonwealth stopped to remember the life and works of Prince Philip on Saturday, as millions across the globe watched his televised funeral. With 30 people in attendance, the ceremony was in stark contrast to other royal funerals – particularly for a member of the Firm who had struck a tone with many of the thousands of people he met. But among the subplots to the funeral and the build up to the event was the reported rift between Harry and William, something that has worsened in previous years.
The row appeared to plunge to new depths, particularly after Harry told US TV star Oprah Winfrey how William and Charles were “trapped” in their roles within the monarchy last month.
Tensions deepened as details from a call between Harry and William emerged after the interview, with the Duke of Cambridge concerned that their conversations would now never be private.
After his interview, William reportedly spoke with Harry, but Gayle King, a talk show host and friend of the Sussexes, alleged the conversations were not productive.
This led a source close to William to confess that the future monarch was worried “that anything he says to his brother will be plastered over American TV”.
It is unclear when the supposed row between the dukes began, but historian Robert Lacey argued it was down to Charles to heal the wound, something he is expected to do today.
Speaking last year, Mr Lacey told US Weekly that Charles was the “obvious person to create or encourage their reconciliation”.
He continued: “He hasn’t come into the picture as we know so far…[but] that is one possible channel for reconciliation.
“I’d rather hope that behind the scenes, Charles is at work mending the fences [and] building the bridges.”
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Mr Lacey argued that the siblings’ relationship is nearly beyond repair, and wrote in the 2020 book Battle of Brothers: “Both brothers have been damaged by their upbringings; both have reacted by finding different solutions.
“There is so much pain and trauma in this story, going right back to the beginning.”
He added that if the two can’t reunite it will become a “potential tragedy” for Harry and William, adding: “This compares with Edward VIII’s abdication in 1936 and the death of Princess Diana in 1997.
“It’s of that scale. And it’s a challenge that’s yet to be resolved.”
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The two brothers did, however, seem to put their rift to one side as they marked their grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.
They were seen chatting after the funeral, alongside William’s wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
Harry returned from the US last week and has been in the UK alone, as Meghan Markle was advised to not travel due to her pregnancy.
A source has claimed that while he is in the UK, Harry has been pencilled into Charles’ diary so the pair can spend some time together before he travels back to Los Angeles.
According to the MailOnline, the source said: “There has been talk that Charles will walk around Windsor with Harry to look at some of the tributes and spend some time together.”
Yet, in more recent times the brothers have not been on speaking terms.
Claims of the relationship breakdown came after remarks William made about Meghan emerged in the 2020 book, ‘Finding Freedom’, but Mr Lacey argued the fallout could have begun years before that.
He argued during a Good Morning America interview last year that “this story goes back to when they were six or seven years old”, a time when William “starts becoming more serious”.
As William is “aware he will be King”, Mr Lacey noted this meant “Harry went into the opposite direction”.
He added: “There is a sense, I think, in which William could be criticised for setting Harry up to fail. It suited the elder brother so well to have the guy who always carried the blame.
“Both when they were teenagers – and now.”
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