Harry and Meghan announced their intention to step back from senior royal duties last week. Yesterday, after a crisis summit at Sandringham, the Queen indicated her reluctant acceptance of the move, releasing a statement that said: “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.” Prince William was involved in discussions yesterday, alongside his father Prince Charles.
However, previously William’s words of advice to his brother over taking his relationship slowly in the glare of the royal spotlight fell on deaf ears.
The Duke of Cambridge reportedly had worries when Harry was planning to propose to Meghan that the pair had not had time to get used to the demands of royal life.
Royal correspondent Emily Andrews, reporting for The Sun in December 2018, wrote: “He knew Harry was already head-over-heels for the US star but wanted him to take it slowly.”
A source told Ms Andrews: “William told his brother they knew nothing about her background, her intentions, what she was really like.
“He just wanted to stress that becoming part of the Royal Family is a massive undertaking and the pressure and scrutiny is unrelenting. Was Meghan the right one?”
However, the Duke of Sussex did not take his brother’s words kindly.
The source claimed: “Harry went mental. He accused his brother of trying to finish his romance before it had begun.
“The brothers’ relationship has not really recovered.”
Royal expert Ingrid Seward speaking on Channel 5 documentary “William & Harry: Princes At War?”, added: “It was all so quick that William and Kate didn’t have a moment to get to know Meghan because Harry hardly knew Meghan.”
The speed of the Sussexes’ relationship is in stark contrast to William and Kate’s.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge spent 10 years dating before their royal wedding in 2011.
Not only this but in the first few years of their married life, Kate and William lived a low-key life out of the spotlight as they adjusted to their new royal positions.
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Speaking on podcast Pod Save the Queen this week, host Ann Gripper commented on how William and Kate’s approach allowed them to “work out what their life was”.
Ms Gripper said: “It was lovely that William and Kate had their cottage in Anglesey, and then in Norfolk.
“They could work out what their life was.
“[William and Kate] were part-time royals, they weren’t on the senior royal rota.
“I think for me, [Harry and Meghan] have just gone straight, all in.”
Arguably, then, William predicted the crisis of the last week as his warning was not taken seriously and Meghan and Harry have made no secret of their struggles adapting to the demands of royal life since their marriage in 2017.
Prince William expressed his concern for his brother after Harry’s October ITV interview, in which he and Meghan both talked about their struggles with royal life.
However, this week, The Times reported that the Duke of Cambridge told a friend: “‘I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more. We’re separate entities.”
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