Prince William and Harry: Omid Scobie discusses relationship
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The Duke of Cambridge, 39, was reported to have fallen out with his brother Harry, 36, over his wife Meghan Markle, 40, in the early months of their relationship, and the brothers’ bond has only deteriorated since. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially stepped back as senior royals last year and moved to the US to start their new life outside Palace walls. Despite reports of a major rift between William and Harry, the princes appear to have somewhat rekindled their once-close relationship in recent months.
The pair were seen chatting at the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April – their first public meeting since Meghan and Harry’s royal exit.
In July, the brothers also came together at Kensington Palace to unveil a statue of their late mother, Princess Diana, ahead of the anniversary of her death last month.
Yet despite the brothers’ apparent reconciliation, William is still forced to bear more than his fair share of responsibilities, according to biographer Andrew Lownie.
The Cambridge-educated author and publisher was speaking to Express.co.uk about his new book, “Traitor King: The Scandalous Exile of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor”.
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He drew parallels between the Duke of Windsor’s abdication and controversial exile, and the fallout from Prince Harry’s own royal exit.
He said: “There is always this tension between the dutiful royals and the rogue royals.
“Bertie [George VI] stepped up to the mark for the Duke of Windsor when he was younger, and William is having to shoulder everything for Harry.
“They’re two very different characters even though they’ve had the same upbringing. So that’s why you can’t really blame the upbringing.”
King Edward VIII, the Duke of Windsor, became Britain’s shortest-serving monarch with a reign of just 326 days after he abdicated the throne in 1936.
Edward felt he was forced to leave the monarchy after major opposition to his plan to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
After Edward informed the nation of the situation in a national radio address, his brother George, the Queen’s father, was declared King the following day.
The Queen succeeded her father as monarch upon his death in 1952 and has since gone on to lead Britain’s longest reign in history.
Mr Lownie explained that, as the Queen approaches the later stages of her monarchy, William will have an increasingly important role to play.
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The author suggested that William and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge are being lined up for even more significant roles than those held by the Queen’s son, Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall.
He said: “We’re in a period of what can be called a soft regency, in effect the Queen is standing back, not doing many roles.
“The roles that she is doing are being accompanied by Prince Charles, everyone is being prepared for Charles and Camilla.
“As a result, William and Kate, who seem to be very popular, are stepping into the position that Charles and Camilla had.
“Because they are, I would say almost more popular than Charles and Camilla, they’ve probably been given a higher role.
“Because there’s a PR war going on, not just between the Sussexes and the Cambridges, but a PR war by the monarchy to prepare everyone for life after the Queen.
“To establish in people’s minds the legitimate succession and also to in a sense resell the monarchy at a time when it’s under pressure.”
Traitor King is available via Bonnier Books.
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