Royal Family Secrets Reveal What Prince Harry and Prince William’s Relationship Is Really Like

Prince William and Prince Harry are two of the most well-known and most reported-on royals in the world. But when it comes to the relationship between the royal brothers, we don’t know quite as much. Outside of the fact that they both live in the same palace and do charity events together, these heirs to U.K.’s throne keep their brotherly bond under wraps.

Luckily, we have found plenty of clues that help give us the inside scoop on what Prince William’s relationship is like with his younger brother Prince Harry. Keep reading to find out which brother was considered a royal troublemaker (page 5) and what their relationship with their stepmother Camilla is like (page 8).

Each brother named the other his best man — a break from royal tradition

Prince Harry and prince william at the wedding

Prince Harry and Prince William at Harry’s wedding | Owen Humphreys/AFP/Getty Images

  • Traditionally, royals don’t have a “best man,” but Harry and William did.  

Back in 2011, Harry acted as William best man at his wedding to Kate Middleton. In 2018, William repaid the favor by standing up for his brother when he married Meghan Markle. What you might not know is that both princes broke with tradition by having a best man. Traditionally, royals have what is known as a “supporter” at their wedding. But William “broke protocol” by naming his younger brother best man, according to Town & Country, and Harry did the same. That just goes to show how close the two brothers really are.

NextWilliam and Harry have been close since they were kids. 

Their bond right from the start

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William, King Charles

The two brothers have been close since the beginning. | Johnny Eggitt/AFP/Getty Images

  • Prince William was second in line to the throne, but they shared the spotlight. 

William and Harry’s late mother, Princess Diana, made it her mission to make sure her two sons were close and shared the spotlight. To achieve this, Diana worked to make sure William didn’t get more attention than Harry just because William was heir-in-line to the throne. If something involved William, it needed to involve Harry as well.

Next: Brotherly love, right from the beginning.

William was a loving older brother

Britain's Prince William (L) and Prince Harry arrive for the unveiling of a memorial to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother on the Mall, in central London, on February 24, 2009.

The brothers couldn’t have a better relationship. | Kirsty Wigglesworth/AFP/Getty Images

  • Unlike some kids, William wasn’t jealous of his new baby brother. 

In old hand-written letters, Princess Diana described how William acted after his new brother Harry was born. The Huffington Post summarized one of the letters: “William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near!”

Next: Their mother’s lasting influence.

Royal rule-breakers

Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (L), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (C) and Britain's Prince Harry (R) take part in a relay race, during a training event

The rules were meant to be broken according to these two. | Alastair Grant/AFP/Getty Images

  • Neither brother is afraid to break the rules. 

Both princes have made it a point in their adult years to be as modern as they can be, from how they travel to how William is raising his children. This shared habit of bending the rules is, of course, something that Princess Diana installed in them at young ages. Needless to say, father Prince Charles isn’t as fond of his sons’ rule-breaking ways. (But more on Charles a little later.)

Next: While we’re on the subject of breaking rules …

Who got into the most trouble back in the day?

An arrangement of British daily newspapers photographed in London on August 23, 2012 shows the front-page headlines and stories regarding nude pictures of Britain's Prince Harry

Prince Harry was a tabloid fixture back in the day. | Daniel Sorabji/AFP/Getty Images

Harry is the prince known for his partying antics. Apparently, his trouble-making days started at a very young age. In Princess Diana’s letters, she mentioned that both her boys were enjoying the boarding school they were at, but that eight-year-old Harry “is constantly in trouble!”

Next: Sharing in the grieving process.

Bonding over loss

(L to R) The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales.

Members of the royal family at Princess Diana’s funeral. | Jeff J. Mitchell/AFP/Getty Images

  • William encouraged his brother to see a therapist to deal with his grief over Diana’s death. 

Princess Diana’s death created some friction between some members of the Royal Family. But it made Princes William and Harry even closer. Harry took his mother’s death especially hard, and created a pattern of destructive behavior that followed him into his 20s. He finally started seeing a therapist — a decision that his older brother William helped him make.

Next: Where Prince Charles fits into the mix.

The relationship with their father …

Prince William, Prince Harry and Princess Diana

The boys may have gotten along with their mother better than their father. | Pool/AFP/Getty Images

  • The princes have a good relationship with their father. 

Prince Charles has always been portrayed as the strict, more subdued parent, both before and after Diana’s death. (Which is emphasized when he makes it public that he thinks his sons are acting inappropriately.) As one biographer points out, Charles was raised to not outwardly show emotions and was a more nurturing father behind closed doors. Both princes maintain a good relationship with their father, although it isn’t the same relationship they had with their mother.

Next: Speaking of mothers, what’s up with their stepmother?

… and the relationship with Camilla

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles arrive for a party at Windsor Castle

Camilla probably wishes her relationship with Prince William and Prince Harry were better. | Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

  • William and Harry’s relationship with Camilla has been strained at times. 

Oh yes, the Duchess of Cornwall. The woman Prince Charles had an affair with while he and Princess Diana were still together. It’s understandable that both princes didn’t want to meet her for a very long time, especially when they were young. Their relationship with Camilla seems to go through many ups and downs — not just because of their late mother, but because of Camilla’s pension for drama. (William couldn’t have been too happy about Camilla meddling in his early relationship with Kate Middleton.)

Next: Bonding over work and play.

How shared interests helped them stay close

Prince William

Prince William as he begins his new job with the East Anglian Air Ambulance. | Stefan Rousseau WPA – Pool/Getty Images

  • Both brothers trained as pilots. 

Shared interests help keep siblings closer. So it’s no surprise that going into the same line of work and enjoying the same extracurriculars has further strengthened their bond. Like their father Prince Charles before them, both William and Harry trained as pilots and served honorably in British military. Away from their duties, the two princes enjoy competitive sports, listen to the same music, and have some of the same crazy celebrity friends.

Next: The greatest activity that they share.

Their shared interest in giving back

Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge

They both share a love for giving back. | Alastair Grant – WPA Pool/Getty Images

  • They set up a foundation for their charitable endeavours. 

Both William and Harry are incredibly involved in giving back, and have numerous charities and events in their name. Together they set up The Royal Foundation, which serves as a hub for all of their different endeavors. The hub was renamed The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry after Kate Middleton married into the family in 2011.

Next: Speaking of the Duchess of Cambridge …

Where Kate Middleton comes in

Prince William, Duchess Kate Middleton, and Prince Harry are clapping at a stadium full of people.

Kate has done a great job building a relationship with Prince Harry. | Alastair Grant/AFP/Getty Images

  • Harry has called Kate the big sister he never had. 

Since William and Harry are so close, a significant other would have to fit in with both of them, right? Such is the case for Kate Middleton, who reportedly maintains a brilliant rapport with her brother-in-law. They have independently gushed about each other in interviews, with Harry calling Kate the big sister he never had.

Next: They’re so close, they’re neighbors!

The close living quarters

Kensington Palace gardens

Prince Harry and Prince William both live at the Kensington Palace. | Pat_Hastings/iStock/Getty Images

  • The brothers both live at Kensington Palace. 

Most siblings don’t want to live together after they have grown up. But this isn’t the case for William and Harry. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live in an apartment at Kensington Palace, while Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also reside at the palace, in Nottingham Cottage. William and Kate once lived in the house as well, before moving into a larger place at the palace.

Next: So, what about the rest of the royal family?

How they view the rest of the family

Britain's Prince William kisses his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace,

Certain family members were not invited to the royal wedding. | Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images

  • William and Harry support each other whenever there’s royal family drama. 

The House of Windsor has never been short on drama, but at least William and Harry appear to remain united when it comes to family chaos. When William didn’t invite certain people to his wedding and didn’t make his cousin the godmother to his son George, it was Harry who always had William’s back.

Next: Are they more alike than we think?

Maybe they aren’t so different after all

(L-R) Princess Beatrice of York, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princes William and Harry attend The Diamond Jubilee Concert outside Buckingham Palace in London, on June 4, 20112.

The brothers are a lot more alike than most people think. | Dave Thompson/AFP/GettyImages

  • The brothers are more similar than you might realize. 

Prince William has always been viewed as the mild-mannered future leader, while Harry has always been the fun-loving trouble-maker. But as it turns out, the closely-bonded brothers are very much alike. When Harry served in the military, he was promoted for his leadership skills. And as for William, well, he certainly isn’t a stranger to getting into trouble himself.

Next: Back to Diana’s wish for them to share the spotlight …

Any resentment over royal rank?

Princes William and Harry enjoy some sibling competition.

Prince Harry supports Prince William as any younger brother should. | Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry doesn’t resent his older brother’s proximity to the throne at all. In fact, the red-headed royal has gone on record to suggest that the modernization of the monarchy has left nobody in the immediate family wanting to wear the crown. (Looks like Princess Diana’s choice to make sure her boys were treated equally has paid off.)

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