Prince William Was Sending Prince Harry a Message by Excluding Him From This Christmas Photo, Insider Claims

As the British royal family has pressed on through the years, it has only become bigger and more cumbersome. Since Queen Elizabeth II is a family woman, the sovereign monarch has done her best to ensure that everyone in her family feels welcomed and included. However, Prince Charles has a different perspective.

Having watched his siblings and his son, Prince Harry in their roles as “spares,” the Prince of Wales has always advocated for a smaller and more paired down family. This way, there is less opportunity for scandal and interfamilial drama.

Though Prince William had said very little about this in the past, one royal author claims that his Christmas card from 2019 was a very direct message to Prince Harry.

Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet the public in Windsor on the eve of the wedding at Windsor Castle on May 18, 2018 in Windsor, England
Prince Harry and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet the public in Windsor on the eve of the wedding at Windsor Castle on May 18, 2018 in Windsor, England | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Things had been tense between Prince William and Prince Harry for a long time

Despite their differing personalities, Prince William and Prince Harry had always been very close. However, as they’ve gotten older, and amid Prince William’s marriage to Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, the brothers have been moving in different directions.

Upon meeting and falling in love with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry hoped to reconnect with his older brother again. However, that did not occur. Prince William was suspicious of the American actor referring to her as “that girl.” ‘Don’t feel you need to rush this. Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl,’” Prince William told Prince Harry according to Finding Freedom by Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie

Prince Harry has acknowledged the apparent tension between himself and Prince William. “Part of this role and part of this job and this family being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he revealed in ITV’s Harry and Meghan: An African Journey in Oct. 2019. “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 as I know he’ll always be there for me.”

RELATED: Why Fans Think Prince William and Prince Harry’s Feud Is A Result of Princess Diana’s Death

Prince Harry and Prince William are still working through their issues

Amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Megxit, and the Sussexes moving to California, some of the hard feelings have eased between the brothers. However, they have not dissipated. After all, the Sussexes are carving out a bold new path for themselves where they are discussing everything from racism to colonialism.

An insider told Daily Mail, that the brothers are “speaking more than they did before. The distance between the two dukes has been a good thing for them. They are getting on better than they were several months ago.”

However, the older prince failed to show up for Prince Harry’s birthday Zoom video call on Sept. 15. “William sent his birthday best wishes,” a royal source told The Mirror. “There was some excuse made about why he wasn’t there….It was a bit awkward that William and Kate weren’t there.”

Prince William wanted to send Prince Harry a message with that paired down family Christmas photo

For Christmas 2019, the royal family debuted a photo of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George. It was shocking to many fans to see many others excluded. “The truth is that the number of active family members has been decreasing and that might not be a coincidence,”  The Talko reported. “Of course, this would increase the workload for those who remain but it would allow for less drama, less opportunity for scandals, and create a more streamlined monarchy.”

However, it appears that in addition to moving toward the royal family format Prince Charles has been pushing for, Prince William also agreed to the photo to send Prince Harry a message.

In Battle of Brothers by royal historian Robert Lacey he writes via US Weekly, that the Sussexes saw the photo as a “signal that they were being excluded from royal life.” Lacey continued,

According to insiders, this formal photograph, taken in the Buckingham Palace Throne Room a week before Christmas 2019, was the idea of Prince Charles, anxious to promote his cause of the ‘slimmed-down monarchy.’ Palace sources have also let it be known that the plan of depicting the direct line of royal succession was enthusiastically supported by Prince William, who was not saying anything for the record—but who wanted to send his younger brother a message.