|Princes William and Harry (Image: Vanity Fair)|
Okay, it's time media commentators and royal 'experts' stop celebrating the fact that Prince Harry and Prince William 'will never speak to each other ever again', as Harry 'reveals all' in a Netflix documentary and new autobiography. The personalities who spout their views on TV and in newspapers may completely deny that they're happy to see two brothers conflicting and that their wives despise each other. Yet, I question why on earth they want to raise it at every opportunity.
Reports of disharmony between Harry and William have been constant over the past three years. It was just as Covid-19 pandemic struck when Harry and his wife Meghan Markle - the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - decided to pack up and leave royal life in search for a way of living, the way they chose. This, apparently, impacted the brothers' relationship, and it simply gotten worse since.
These stories have been reported like earthquakes, starting with the Sussex's American dream, followed by that Oprah Winfrey interview in March 2021. That was around a 7.5 on the Royal Richter Scale. The fact they didn't attend the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral a month later also caused a stir, but more like a 4.5 on the Scale. Fast forward to more recent times, many had predicted a huge shake after the Queen's passing, but events around that turned out okay. The Netflix documentary series and autobiography, though, have been perceived as a 10, yet, I feel, time will truly tell on that.
But are these earthquakes really justified, and are they true to life? Now, I'm not here to speculate about their relationship. I don't know them, I've never met them, and quite honestly, probably neither do half the so-called royal 'experts' and biographers. With that in mind, how do we really know that Harry and William's relationship, for instance, started breaking down from the moment the Sussex's were thinking of moving on from royal duties? Prior to that event, we had often seen the brothers together, united, and looking jolly. But looking at coverage pre-2020, this had only been largely thanks to one reason - a shared affection for their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
The commentators and 'experts' often painted a picture that all was well between the pair before Harry's spouse entered. However, the documentaries the brothers did together, the causes they believed in and the joys and pains they had in common; it's impossible to conclude that what goes on in front of camera matches the scenes behind closed doors. How are we so sure that because of these, they were always dandy and brotherly towards one another? Up to the point when Diana passed in 1997, I've no doubt that things were good. It's been widely documented that she made sure they were raised as loving brothers, never the 'heir and spare'. She was very maternal and felt that their relationship would be best enhanced by being relatives in heart, soul and DNA. It's an approach we see in our daily lives but perhaps not so in royalty.
But Diana's death changed that. The maternal figure was missing at the exact time of their lives they arguably needed a mother figure the most. They didn't have anyone else. Some may argue that they later had Charles's second wife Camilla - now Queen Consort - yet there were clear reservations from the brothers, considering she was the 'third person' in the marriage, as Diana related to in that now discredited (which I disagree with that sentiment) interview with Martin Bashir in 1995. It's clear that Camilla was their pally stepmother, eventually, rather than the mummy they had craved.
Now, grief takes people to completely different directions - with William, he'd taken loss by being mellow and quiet, Harry had gotten angry and emotionally charged; these feelings are perfectly normal. But both had bottled their feelings in from the public for so long, because this was going to be the best way their family would handle the complex situation. Their media appearances about their mother, mental health and the military, had to be done but appear scripted. This is an interpretation, maybe not a reality, but I was given the impression they had to say things for convenient publicity.
But now Harry's moved to another continent, he's able to fully express the deep emotions he'd kept inside for 25 years. He seeks this private life, and he will achieve it, but - as unpopular as I'll sound here - he's done the right thing by 'letting it all out' through the documentary series and autobiography. He's on a path towards being at peace with himself.
The process will bound to be painful, for him, for his brother, for the rest of his family, for his wife and friends. Emotions tend to never make full sense, and can skew some realities. No memories are recalled with complete perfection, however vivid they may appear in our thoughts. So, the fact that the reaction to Harry's documentary, interviews and autobiography, will receive plenty of criticism from 'experts', it reflects more of their lacking ability to understand grief, as well as the fact that he's making decisions that don't fit the narrative that he'd no choice but to follow for the first 35 years of his life. He's adapting to a new environment.
I could completely resonate with the pickle Harry and William find themselves in, had my brother and I lost our mother in our early teens, and in an incredibly public and controversial manner. Our age gap is similar to the royal pair and we're as close today as we were as children. I'd honestly say that I cannot guarantee that this would be the case with the absence of the maternal figure of our biological mother. My mother's passion for ensuring my brother and I connect with each other as a brother matched that of Diana, and this continues to this day - and I'm sorry that Harry and William only got to see this for (nearly) 13 and 15 years respectively.
This doesn't mean I feel closely connected to Harry or William. Our paths may never cross. Yet, if we - or media commentators and royal 'experts' more specifically - treated them like proper human beings, they may actually be given an opportunity to breathe and not listen to wild interpretations that would inevitably influence their way of thinking. Call me soft, but I like to think of them as good people and I wish them the best. And within that, I wish their relationships the best, I wish their directions in life a success and I hope they continue to find shared happiness. But I suppose wishing them good together isn't the done thing nowadays.
If either of them reads this (a 0.00001% chance), of all the advice they're given, I hope they listen to this message the most - ignore the noise. Harry isn't the cause of it, his content could easily be shrugged off. He's perfectly entitled to feel what he's feeling. He's getting everything out of his system. And no, it isn't his wife's fault. The thought that two brothers, with potentially 50-60 years left in them, to 'never speak to each other again' after recent events, is simply laughable. And if that's the case, they certainly won't be the first brothers not to be on speaking terms, and again, that's okay, and normal.
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