Did Prince Harry and Prince William’s Feud Start When Princess Diana Was Alive?

What are the origins of the rumored feud between Prince Harry and Prince William? While the timing of their conflict is often pinned to when Harry was dating Meghan Markle, some believe this rift has been ongoing since they were children.

prince harry prince William feud
Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Prince Charles | Terry Fincher/Getty Images

Did the brothers fight?

Siblings fight — even when they are close, there are often disagreements during childhood. Such was the case for the princes who, according to an insider, had their fair share of differences.

Princess Diana’s former bodyguard, Ken Wharfe, had some of the inside information about the boys, including an incident between the two when they were traveling with their mother and started bickering in the backseat.

Princess Diana, even though she was a royal, had a very typical response, telling them they would turn the car around and return to Kensington Palace if they didn’t stop arguing.

Harry reportedly snapped at William: “I don’t care what you do! I’m not going to be king so I will be able to do whatever I like!”

Wharfe shared: “All the adults in the car looked at each other and thought, where the hell did that come from? There was a sense that from a very young age Harry thought he could do whatever he wanted, while his brother had to shoulder all the responsibility.”

Despite their different royal paths, Princess Diana raised them as equals, as she once told a friend: “I have to. Charles and I worked so hard to ensure both boys receive equal amounts of our time and love; others in the family seem to concentrate on William.”

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Today marks #999DayUK, when we celebrate and say thank you to our incredible Police, Fire and Emergency Medical services ‍♀‍‍⚕ and all our specialised emergency services for all that they do to keep us safe. The first photograph in this post is of The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex and their mother Diana, Princess of Wales, with their cousins Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall in the yard of the Old Fire Station in the grounds of Sandringham House in 1988. On 999 Day later today The Duke will visit @TheFirefightersCharity at Harcombe House in Devon to hear about the support that the centre provides to members of the fire and rescue service and their families, and meet representatives from across the emergency services sector. On the extraordinary work of our emergency services, The Duke of Cambridge said: "As a society, we owe our wellbeing, and indeed our lives, to the men and women in our emergency services who work tirelessly to protect us in some of the most difficult circumstances. It is only fitting that we should recognise the vital role that they play, and pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities." 999 Day begins annually at 9am on the 9th September (the 9th hour of the 9th day of the 9th month) and is held to pay tribute to the invaluable work that is carried out by the emergency services and responders. Getty images / Press Association

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Why they need to repair their relationship

If the rumors of a feud between the brothers are true, many believe that they should heal their rift for a very important reason. One expert believes that with all the criticism Prince Harry faces from the media and public, it’s important that he has the support of his brother.

During the “Royals” podcast from New Idea magazine, royal expert Angela Mollard explained: “I think I’m being realistic in saying it’s hard enough for ordinary people to sustain marriages. In the public eye, as [Harry and Meghan] are, and under such intense scrutiny — I really, really hope that they have the ballast and the support there.”

She added: “If Harry does have any sense, he will rely on William and that relationship will be repaired going forward. He does have tremendous wisdom as a brother, so fingers crossed.” 

The Cambridges can offer some helpful advice

The Sussexes could certainly take some tips from Prince William and Kate Middleton, especially as they work through ensuring privacy for their son Archie. Mollard noted: “Archie is going to have attention, in the same way that the Cambridge children have attention. I think [Harry and Meghan] should take some advice from Kate and William, they’ve done it really well.”

She added: “Yes, their children are visible but they own that message. Also, social media has given them the opportunity to disseminate information when and how they want. Now, I think that what’s interesting is that Kate, in producing pictures of her children herself, choosing them, owning and managing that image — I think there’s a lot to be learned from that.”