Prince Harry and Prince William Are Not the First Royal Siblings To Have a Complicated Relationship

It is no secret that Prince William and Prince Harry have had a strained relationship for quite some time. Harry actually acknowledged this when he said he and his brother were on “different paths” during his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

It is unclear at this point if they will be able to work things out. But there is still hope, as William and Harry are not the first royal siblings to have a complicated relationship.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 2018
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince William and Prince Harry ‘could have been so brilliant’

William and Harry’s falling out has been difficult for the brothers and their family. But according to royal insiders, the real tragedy is that the public is missing out. If they were working as a team, they could have accomplished a lot.

“It’s a sad state of affairs because William and Harry could have been so brilliant,” a royal source told Marie Claire. “To think of what they could have achieved together is almost heartbreaking.”

Will the brothers reunite to honor their mother?

The royal brothers have reportedly spoken since Oprah Winfrey interviewed Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. However, the talk was apparently “unproductive.” The relationship is so broken that some experts believe Harry will not attend a big event in the UK this summer that will honor the late Princess Diana.

On July 1, there will be a statue unveiling at Kensington Palace to honor Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday. The expectation was that Harry would reunite with William for this major event. But, after Harry and Meghan’s bombshell interview, that’s not a sure thing.

Prince William and Prince Harry aren’t the first royal siblings with a complicated relationship

William and Harry’s complicated sibling relationship isn’t the first in the royal family according to a new excerpt in Vogue. As royal biographer Andrew Morton points out in his new book Elizabeth and Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters, Queen Elizabeth and her younger sister Princess Margaret had their own issues.

RELATED: Prince William Once Told Princess Diana He ‘Hated’ the Idea of Being King, So Prince Harry Said He Would Do It

In the new book, Morton details the evolution of Elizabeth and Margaret’s relationship from their childhood before their uncle’s abdication up until Margaret’s death in 2002. The author takes a deep dive into the complicated “heir and spare” sibling dynamic.

“It’s a complex relationship,” Morton writes. “It’s one of loyalty and support, but also primal jealousy.”

Things were different when Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were kids

Morton writes that Elizabeth and Margaret were essentially raised as twins in their youth despite their four year age difference. Before their uncle’s abdication, the girls were treated exactly the same.

“They were treated just alike–same socks, same skirts–and in that way, Elizabeth was brought down to Margaret’s level, because there’s a four-year age difference. They were twins,” Morton writes. “There were two princesses; there was no possibility in the minds of many, including the Duke and Duchess of York, that the Duke would ever become king, and that his daughter would ever become queen.”

Everything changed with their uncle’s abdication

When their Uncle David abdicated in 1936, everything changed for Elizabeth and Margaret. From that point forward, Elizabeth was treated as the heir to the throne. She had a different education from her sister, and they went down “a slightly different path.”

“There’s always tension, because the heir gets the final say, and the spare, however good, however brilliant, however dynamic, however charismatic they are, is always second in command, the wingman. Forever playing No. 2 on the bill,” Morton says.

Despite all of the tension, Elizabeth and Margaret remained incredibly close until Margaret’s death. Morton says that in many ways they were “indecipherable to everyone but each other.”

“It was from this position of magnificent isolation that the sisters formed their inseparable, intuitive bond,” Morton says.

Elizabeth and Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters is now available in stores.