Prince Harry and Prince William: A Look Back at Their Relationship Before Meghan Markle
For their entire lives, Prince Harry and Prince William have been two of the most popular members of the royal family. The world has watched the brothers grow up, get married, and start their own families while performing their royal duties. Fans always knew they were extremely close, but that all began to change when Harry met Meghan Markle.
Prince William and Prince Harry have shared a close bond since they were kids
The palace released the first photo of Prince William and Prince Harry together in 1984, shortly after Princess Diana gave birth to Harry. The picture featured the two young boys with their mom at Harry’s christening ceremony.
As the boys grew up, their mother took a more modern approach to royal parenting and was often seen in candid pics with her sons. Family photos from William and Harry’s childhood show just how close they were.
William was by Harry’s side when he learned to walk. They enjoyed bike rides with their mom and dad, and the brothers also had fun playing together at home in their royal bubble.
One of the last public photos of William and Harry with Princess Diana was in the fall of 1995. It was then that Diana accompanied the boys to the first day of school at Eton College.
According to Insider, William and Harry were vacationing with Prince Charles at Balmoral Castle in Scotland when they received the news that their mom had passed away on August 31, 1997.
Princess Diana’s death changed William and Harry’s lives
As Express notes, William was 15 and Harry was 12 when their mother died, and this tragedy bonded them even more. On the 10th anniversary of her death, Harry said during a speech that he and William separate life into two parts.
“There are the years that we were blessed beside us with the physical presence of both our mother and father. And then there are the 10 years since our mother’s death,” said Harry. “She was our guardian, friend, and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or undemonstrated. Behind the media glare, to us, two children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world.”
Princess Diana’s biographer Andrew Morton wrote in the November 2019 edition of Royals Monthly that the brothers’ relationship is “incredibly intimate.” He explained that no one – not even Prince Charles – knows what’s gone on in their heads and hearts since they lost their mother.
William and Harry could only trust each other when it came to candidly talking about Princess Diana’s death.
Prince William and Prince Harry started to grow apart during adulthood
As William and Harry entered adulthood, they started creating their own career paths. The Duke of Cambridge earned the RAF rank of Flight Lieutenant after three years of search and rescue helicopter training, while the Duke of Sussex served two tours in Afghanistan.
William also met and married Kate Middleton while becoming a senior working royal and preparing to become king. At the same time, William and Harry worked together at official royal engagements and launched joint charities.
They started their successful Heads Up campaign for mental health awareness. Harry admitted to his own struggles after the death of his mother, and he credits William for helping him seek mental health counseling.
But, after William served as Prince Harry’s best man when he married Meghan Markle in May 2018, the “cracks started to show” between the two brothers. By Megxit in January 2020, their relationship appeared to be severely fractured.
Despite their troubles, Harry said in a 2019 ITV documentary that he and William will always be brothers.
“We are certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me,” said Harry.