Royal expert and Vanity Fair correspondent Katie Nicholl recently told Entertainment Tonight that the relationship between the royal siblings got stronger over the holidays. The brothers have reportedly been distant since Harry, 36, announced last year that he and his wife Meghan Markle were stepping back as senior royals.
“There were phone and video calls over the Christmas and New Year holiday and the Sussexes sent presents to the Cambridges and vice versa,” Nicholl told the outlet. ‘It was an opportunity in an otherwise very busy and chaotic year for both of the families to come together and connect, albeit virtually.
“Things are a lot better between William and Harry,” Nicholl continued. “If you go back a year at that stage, these brothers were barely on talking terms. When William went to the Sandringham Summit, he was so angry with his brother. He couldn’t even face going to that lunch with the Queen. He only went for the meetings, such was his frustration and feeling of disappointment about what his brother had done and how Harry was handling the situation.”
Still, Nicholl noted that it’s questionable whether the relationship “will ever be as close” as it was before.
“The relationship is much better than it was,” she shared. “For a start, they are on talking terms, and not only on talking terms, they do speak relatively regularly. They were very much in touch over the holidays. But there is an ocean between them, there is a time difference and as Harry [has] said… they are two brothers on different paths.”
The brothers are expected to be reunited later this year.
“The much-awaited statute tribute to [their mother] Princess Diana will be unveiled in Kensington Palace gardens on what would have been her 60th birthday,” said Nicholl. “And it is Harry’s intention, and Meghan’s also, to be here in the U.K. for that opening. It may possibly be the first time we see the brothers together, but I think that we will probably see them together in the spring around the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s birthday celebrations. COVID travel plans permitting.”
Rumors of an alleged royal feud came to light in 2019, when Nicholl claimed that since Markle, 39, and Harry announced their engagement in 2017, William, 38, grew increasingly worried for his brother and his whirlwind romance with the American actress.
“William was quite concerned that the relationship had moved so quickly,” Nicholl claimed in the TLC documentary “Kate V. Meghan: Princesses at War?” “And being close to Harry, you know, probably the only person close enough to say to Harry, ‘This seems to be moving quickly. Are you sure?’ And I think what was meant as well intended brotherly advice just riled Harry.
“Harry is hugely protective of Meghan,” Nicholl continued. “He saw that as criticism, he interpreted that as his brother not really being behind this marriage, this union. And I don’t think things have been quite right ever since.”
Harry hinted at an alleged rift with his older brother in ITV’s 2019 documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.”
“Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he said at the time. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and I know he’ll always be there for me.”
“Let’s make clear that William’s reservation wasn’t whether Meghan was right for Harry, but whether she was right for the royal family and royal life,” Lacey explained at the time. “When it came to Kate [Middleton], William was slow and cautious. He followed duty. Harry immediately fell in love and discovered a new destiny for himself, a new meaning in his life. William saw Meghan as a self-made woman who created her own celebrity and wealth in the process. The royal family, on the other hand, is in the business of representing values.
“Royals are expected to know their place,” Lacey continued. “And Harry, of course, was expected to marry a nice girl named Henrietta or Gabriella who lived in the provinces of Britain in the countryside and settle down. But Meghan and Harry both made it clear they wanted to do so much more than that. And let’s just say there are things that you can and cannot do when it comes to running the royal family and what it stands for.”
Lacey said that while William and Harry “speak on the phone from time to time,” it will take a while for their relationship to heal.
“I think it would always have happened that Meghan and Harry would live on the other side of the world,” he explained. “I think Meghan and Harry will remain based in North America. Unless the brothers can find a way to reconcile, they will have to go their separate ways and keep mutual respect for each other.
“We do know that in July 2021, both brothers have committed to being in Kensington Gardens for the unveiling of the statue dedicated to their late mother, Princess Diana,” he pointed out. “The world will judge then. But there is a lot of work to be done.”