Meghan Markle ‘Provoked the Really Big Break’ Between Prince Harry and Prince William, Royal Expert Claims

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has long been blamed for driving a wedge between Prince Harry and Prince William. Robert Lacey, the author of a new book about the brothers’ feud, shares some context about how things started to unravel between Harry and William and the role that Meghan played.

Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry attend an Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018
Prince William, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry | Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William and Prince Harry had tension between them for some time

Lacey, author of  Battle of Brothers: William and Harry — The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, spoke with ET about the brothers’ childhood and when things started to fall apart between the two.

“One of the objectives of the book is to go back into the past of these two boys, into their childhoods, to see the way in which their lives were shaped, cruelly really, by the breakdown of their parents’ marriage and by the royal roles and distortion that was placed upon them,” Lacey explained.

He continued, “You know, I describe how when they were born, it was William who was the rambunctious character and it was Harry who was the good little boy who sucked his thumb. Then William discovers that he’s going to be king, he becomes much more serious and quiet between the age of six or seven. Harry goes the other way.”

Lacey further asserts that the way that Prince William protected his younger brother is “a very appealing side of William,” but he believes that William’s role as protector “robbed him of his youth.”

“I think the responsibility he had for Harry also robbed him of the, you know, carefree nature of his childhood,” the biographer explained.

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

Meghan Markle ‘provoked the really big break’

While there may have been tension between the brothers for some time, Lacey points to how things reached a breaking point when Meghan entered the picture.

“I would say that there were stresses and strains there before and then with the advent of Meghan, that was what provoked the really big break,” Lacey explained. “William, from all the turmoil of their childhood, took strength from the idea of his duty and what lay ahead for him as king … Harry caught onto the importance of love.”

“So, when he found Meghan, he went for that, and when William said to him, ‘Look, perhaps you should slow down a bit,’ Harry exploded,” Lacey noted. “William then went to his uncle, Charles — who is Diana’s brother who had been a sort of godfather to the boys — and asked him to intervene and suggest to Harry that he slow down.”

The brotherly concern didn’t go over well, however. “Harry rejected William’s model,” the author explained. “He knew what he wanted, he loved this woman, and he was going to marry her so that was certainly the beginning of the rift.”

Prince Harry admitted there was tension between him and Prince William

During the 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, Prince Harry was asked about the rumors of a feud and admitted there was some truth to it.

“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.

He added, “But, look, we’re brothers. We’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I will always be there for him and, as I know, he will always be there for me.”