In the midst of the ongoing royal rift, Prince William's recent response to a question about his younger brother, Prince Harry's birthday, has fueled further speculation about the depth of their estrangement.
Prince Harry marked his 39th birthday on September 15. When a royal enthusiast inquired if Prince William had remembered the occasion, the Duke of Cambridge responded with a hint of irony, "It is his birthday today - you're absolutely right, it is." He then added with a chuckle, "No, I've not forgotten," before moving on without extending birthday wishes to his sibling.
This brief interaction, seemingly light-hearted on the surface, is being dissected by royal observers. Many interpret Prince William's swift and somewhat dismissive response as a subtle indication of the lingering tensions between the brothers, especially in light of revelations from Prince Harry's recent autobiography, Spare. In the memoir, the Duke of Sussex candidly discussed his relationship with his elder brother, even taking jabs at William's "balding head" and commenting on the visible signs of aging he has noticed over the past two decades.
Moreover, the book delves into a purported 2019 incident where Prince Harry alleges that William physically pushed him during a disagreement about Meghan Markle. The memoir also revisits a controversial moment from 2005 when Prince Harry wore a Nazi uniform to a costume party. The younger prince claims that both William and Kate Middleton, then William's girlfriend, had playfully encouraged him to don the outfit. The subsequent media frenzy over the photographs was a significant scandal for the royal family at the time.
Given these revelations, Prince William's recent comments, though brief, are seen by many as a reflection of the deep-seated issues that have driven a wedge between the once-close brothers.
Adding to the complexity of their relationship, recent reports suggest that neither King Charles III nor Prince William were anticipated to publicly wish Prince Harry a happy birthday. Insiders have pointed to a purported new protocol, established since King Charles' ascension to the throne, which restricts social media greetings to senior, working members of the royal family. As Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, and their children, Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet Diana, no longer serve in official capacities for the Crown, they fall outside this protocol.
While the royal family remains tight-lipped about the intricacies of their relationships, these public interactions and revelations from insiders provide a glimpse into the challenges and dynamics at play behind the palace walls. As the world watches, the hope remains that the brothers can find a path to reconciliation.