From physical altercations to reconciliation, everything Harry and William have said about their feud
Prince Harry is speaking candidly once again about the rift between himself and his older brother Prince William, as well as his desire to reconcile despite their volatile past.
The Duke of Sussex shared insight into the brothers’ long rumoured feud in his new memoir Spare, in which he claimed that Prince William once physically attacked him after a fight over Harry’s now-wife Meghan Markle.
The newest details about the sibling rivalry come years after a rumoured rift between William and Harry was first reported in 2018. The allegation came as a surprise to many, considering the closeness of the brothers who were said to have leaned on one another after the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
However, a number of factors are said to have contributed to a growing division among the brothers, including Prince Harry’s relationship with Meghan. The couple began dating in 2016 and later had their royal wedding in 2018. During this time, a number of reports emerged about Prince William’s alleged disapproval of his younger brother’s relationship.
The speculation of a feud increased when Harry and Meghan announced in 2020 that they intended to step away from their roles as senior members of the royal family. Prince Harry recently reflected on his brother’s angry reaction to this decision during his and Meghan’s new Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan. He claimed that the Prince of Wales screamed at him during a meeting with the late Queen.
“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me,” Harry said in the docuseries of the meeting that took place at Sandringham estate with Queen Elizabeth, William and King Charles.
Harry has now shared a number of new allegations about his brother’s behaviour in his memoir. This is everything Prince William and Prince Harry have said about their feud.
Prince Harry confirms existence of a rift between himself and William
The Duke of Sussex addressed the rumours he and William were feuding, and seemingly confirmed the reports, during ITV’s October 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
“Part of this role and part of this job, and this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably, you know, stuff happens,” Harry said at the time. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. And we’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I’ll always be there for him, as I know he’ll always be there for me.”
'As brothers you have good days, you have bad days'
Prince Harry says the 'majority of stuff' written about his relationship with his brother William is 'created out of nothing' and adds: 'I love him dearly' #HarryAndMeghan https://t.co/GWs5KfuovM pic.twitter.com/bW7GVALZR6
— ITV News (@itvnews) October 20, 2019
The duke then went on to express his love for his brother, who he admitted he saw less frequently, before noting that a majority of the reports of their strained relationship were “created out of nothing”.
“We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but you know, I love him dearly,” Harry continued. “The majority of this stuff [in the press] is created out of nothing, but you know, as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days.”
Brothers release joint statement denying bullying accusations
In 2020, shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan announced their decision to step back, the Duke of Sussex and the then-Duke of Cambridge issued a joint statement denying a suggestion that William had bullied the couple.
“Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between the Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge,” the joint statement read. “For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful.”
Harry elaborates on tension with his brother during Oprah Winfrey interview
In March 2021, Harry and Meghan, who had since relocated to the US, sat down with Winfrey for a wide-ranging interview about their decision to step down from the royal family.
During the conversation, the duke claimed that he and his brother were on “different paths” while opening up about the status of their relationship.
“As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been to hell together. But we’re on different paths,” Harry said, adding: “The relationship is ‘space’ at the moment. And time heals all things, hopefully.”
Prince William tells a reporter he plans to speak to Harry
After the duke’s interview with Winfrey, Prince William was approached by a reporter, who asked him whether he’d spoken to his brother since.
In response, William said: “No, I haven’t spoken to him yet but I will.”
At the time, the Prince of Wales also denied racism allegations laid out by the Sussexes during the Winfrey interview. William told a reporter that the royal family is “very much not a racist family”.
Breaking: Prince William has become the first member of the royal family to publicly address the race row sparked by Harry and Meghan’s interview. He says he hasn ‘t spoken to his brother yet but will do and royals very much not a racist family. pic.twitter.com/WPtjexzARN
— Rebecca English (@RE_DailyMail) March 11, 2021
Winfrey’s close friend Gayle King later claimed that she had spoken to Harry, and that he had told her he and his brother had been in contact.
“The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation,” she said on CBS This Morning.
Brothers issue joint statement while reuniting for Princess Diana’s statue unveiling
Amid ongoing tensions between the two brothers, William and Harry reunited for a statue unveiling on what would have been their mother’s 60th birthday.
Although they did not address their own relationship, the brothers issued a joint statement remembering Diana.
“Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength, and character - qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better,” they said. “Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.”
Harry avoids a question about whether he misses his brother and father
In April 2022, the Duke of Sussex, who was in The Hague attending the Invictus Games, was asked by Today’s Hoda Kotb whether he “missed” his brother and his dad.
In response to the question, Prince Harry instead turned the focus on the Invictus athletes and his own family: Meghan and their two children, son Archie and daughter Lilibet.
“Look, I mean, for me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 per cent, to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime,” Harry said. “That’s my focus here. And then I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family, who I miss massively.”
Harry alludes to ongoing feud during Meghan’s interview with The Cut
Meghan sat down with The Cut for a surprise interview in September 2022. Although the duchess was the focus of the story, Harry at one point remarked on the ease with which he and his wife, who run the charitable organisation Archewell, are able to both work together and live together.
“Most people that I know and many of my family, they aren’t able to work and live together,” Harry said, before adding: “It’s actually really weird because it’d seem like a lot of pressure. But it just feels natural and normal.”
Harry shares new insight into his and William’s feud in Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan
In December 2022, Netflix released the Sussexes’ highly anticipated docuseries. In volume two, which included the final three episodes of the six-part series, Harry made a number of explosive claims about his brother. One of those claims was that the palace was “happy to lie to protect” William, but not to protect him and Meghan.
“There’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories,” Harry said. “If the comms team want to be able to remove a negative story about their principal, they will trade and give you something else about someone else’s principal.”
During the docuseries, Harry also accused William of breaking a promise that the brothers had made. Apparently, they’d agreed not to let a “dirty game” play out between their teams when it came to the media.
“To see my brother’s office copy the very same thing that we promised the two of us would never ever do, that was heartbreaking,” the duke said.
Duke says palace released 2020 joint statement denying bullying without his permission
Prince Harry also recalled the joint statement released by the palace, in which he and his brother strongly denied bullying allegations.
However, Harry says the statement was released without his permission.
“I couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that … I rang [Meghan] and I told her, and she burst into floods of tears because within four hours they were happy to lie to protect my brother and yet for three years, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us,” the duke said.
Harry says William screamed at him following his and Meghan’s decision to step down
Perhaps the biggest revelation of the docuseries came when Harry claimed that his brother screamed at him during a meeting with the Queen and their father.
“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me,” Harry said.
In his forthcoming memoir, Prince Harry claims that his brother physically attacked him during a 2018 argument about Meghan.
Harry says the incident took place at his London home in 2019, alleging that William became physical after first calling Meghan “difficult”, “rude” and “abrasive”.
“It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor,” Harry writes. “I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.”
Harry describes William as his “archnemesis”
In an upcoming interview with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan about the book, the anchor quotes Harry as describing William as his “beloved brother and archnemesis”.
While elaborating on the quote, Harry suggested there has “always” been a “competition” between the brothers, which has roots deeper than their recent feud.
“There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it plays into this heir-spare,” Harry said, referring to the title of his book, and his place in the royal hierarchy.
Despite the ongoing tension, Harry says he’d like to reconcile with his family
Harry spoke with ITV’s Tom Bradby in the lead-up to the release of the memoir, with a trailer for the 8 January interview showing the duke expressing a desire to reconcile his relationships with his brother and his father.
“I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back,” Harry said in the clip, adding: “They feel as though it’s better to keep us somehow as the villains.”
As of now, William has not responded to the allegations outlined in his brother’s memoir.