Nine months after Prince Harry announced his decision to leave the royal family with wife, Meghan Markle, the 36-year-old’s relationship with his big brother, Prince William is believed to be at an all-time low. Their relationship is the subject of a new book by British historian Robert Lacey, who has also served as the historical consultant to The Crown on Netflix. “The rift gets more serious with every passing day,” he told The Post on October 24 of the feud that caught fire when Harry and Meghan relocated stateside.
“Battle of Brothers: William and Harry: The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult”, published by Harper, chronicles the siblings’ relationship through the years, dating back to their mother Lady Diana Spencer‘s 1981 “fairytale” wedding to Prince Charles. “The chickens have come home to roost. We thought the disorder, chaos and tragedy of the ’80s and ’90s involving their parents were over. Now [it’s all] come back to life in the shape of these two boys. They are the legacy of all that heartache.”
Of course, he’s referring to their father’s infidelity with Camilla Parker Bowles, which led to a divorce in 1996 and Diana’s tragic death in a car crash one year later. Robert believes the sons have drawn different conclusions as to what went wrong, with William receiving advice about commitment to his country from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. “When he meets Kate Middleton at university, he actually makes the poor young woman wait nine years to effectively audition her for the job as wife to the head of state. He took the lesson of duty.” Meanwhile, Harry took the “opposite” approach.
“His attitude was: ‘Well, I’m not going to make the same mistake as my parents,’ ” Robert said. “ ‘I’m marrying for love.’ And he’s been so happy and proud to proclaim he loved Meghan virtually from the moment he met her in 2016. That impulse has guided him.” Robert has blamed the Royal Family for the public perception and treatment of Meghan Markle, which led to her and Harry leaving the family altogether.
“Everyone thought Harry was going to marry a nice girl called Henrietta or Annabel and go live in the countryside,” the historian explained. “Instead, he finds Meghan, full of American piss and vinegar, energy and independence of thought. If you bring into the old-fashioned, creaking structure of the House of Windsor someone who is a crusader, dedicated to women’s rights and social change, she isn’t going to give up those qualities. When she came over to Britain, she thought it was a new platform. Whereas the royal family didn’t see themselves as offering her a platform at all.”