They used to be each other’s closest allies and confidantes, united by their unique childhood and experiences. But these days, there’s more than an ocean separating Prince William and Prince Harry – in fact, the brothers are worlds apart, thanks to their bitter two-year feud.
And while insiders had hoped that time would heal their wounds, it seems the reverse has happened. In fact, we’re told, Harry’s recent actions – including the decision to snub his late grandfather Prince Philip’s memorial service next week – have apparently shocked and appalled William, and have made him reconsider any olive branches he was willing to extend, including the pressing matter of whether he should include Harry in his 40th birthday celebrations.
According to insiders, William has decided that, rather than wait for Harry and wife Meghan Markle to decline, he’s simply not going to invite them. “William still loves Harry – that will never change – but his apparent insensitivity makes him persona non grata at the moment and it will take some miracle for that to change,” says a source close to Wills, who will be turning 40 on 21 June.
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“The feeling is that, even if Harry and Meghan decided to come to William’s celebration, and that is a big if, their presence would bring a whole fresh set of problems, and nobody wants that. The sad truth is that William barely recognises, let alone relates to, his younger brother any more.”
Last week, there was reported uproar inside the palace, after Harry confirmed that he wouldn’t be attending Philip’s memorial service later this month, but then revealed hours later that he would be travelling to The Hague for the Invictus Games in April.
Harry’s decision to skip the memorial follows a statement made by his lawyer last month that he “does not feel safe” in the UK amid his ongoing court case against the government over its decision not to allow him and Meghan to pay for their own police protection. It also follows a year of outbursts against his family, as well as rumours that his upcoming memoir promises to alienate him further.
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At this point, it’s still unclear whether Harry will even come for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in early June. Meanwhile, we’re told that William is infuriated by Harry’s proposed no-show at Philip’s memorial, especially as he’s heading to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games soon after – he released a video last week, in which he dressed head-to-toe in orange to promote the event. As far as William sees it, Harry’s proved where his priorities lie.
“Even if his brother were to come to some type of compromise over his security concerns, that won’t change William’s position,” our insider tells us. “The bottom line is that he’s caused untold grief and stress within the royal family and the bad taste it’s left in everyone’s mouth simply isn’t going away anytime soon.”
As for the lucky lot who are invited to William’s big day, we’re told it’s shaping up to be a right royal knees-up. “Assuming her health permits, the Queen will host a banquet for William at Windsor, where she’ll gather all the senior royals together to toast the occasion,” says our source. “Kate and the kids also have a host of fun treats planned, including a long weekend on the Isles of Scilly and a big roast dinner at home.”
The source adds the final guest list is still to be confirmed, but by the sound of things, two names are a cert to be barred.