Reporter Robert Lacey explores the origins of the princes’ rift in his book, Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, which was released on Tuesday, October 20. Lacey, who works as the historical consultant for Netflix’s The Crown, has been writing about Queen Elizabeth II and the British royal family for four decades.
According to the author, the tension between William, 38, and Harry, 36, “runs deep” after a disagreement over the latter’s relationship with wife Meghan Markle.
“What many people would like to see is those two brothers to come back together. But … they are not going to,” Lacey told The Sun earlier this month, claiming the resentment between them was “crystallized by Meghan.”
Harry and Meghan, 39, started seeing each other in 2016. After announcing their engagement in November 2017, the twosome exchanged vows at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England in May 2018. Harry and Meghan went on to welcome son Archie in May 2019. By early 2020, the couple announced their plans to step back from their roles working for the monarch. By March, the pair officially moved to the United States and have yet to return to the U.K.
“Harry, of course, is on the record several times saying he does not like the term Megxit. He insists it was his decision, but it’s the advent of this dynamic, controversial woman who brings fresh dimensions to his life and a fresh look,” Lacey said. “Why should he play the second role to William all the time? That’s close to the roots of what went wrong in the split.”
The author later told Us Weekly that if the two brothers ever were to come back together, it would be because Prince Charles stepped in.
“In the light of the rift, [William] and his father are much closer together. There are no more of these arguments. As for Harry, I would hope that the relationship between Harry and his father, which remains quite close and warm — as indeed is his relationship directly with the queen — that might be some way ahead for reconciliation,” he told Us. “I mean the obvious person to create or encourage your reconciliation is Charles. He hasn’t come into the picture so far as we know so far. It’s very interesting.”
No members of the royal family have yet to publicly comment on Lacey’s new book.
Scroll through for the biggest takeaways from Battle of Brothers: