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New Book About Prince William and Prince Harry’s Rift Reveals ‘Painful’ Details

Royal historian Robert Lacey says he was “moved to tears” while researching a new book about the rift between Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry.

Related: Inside Prince William and Prince Harry’s Complicated Relationship Over the Years

Battle of Brothers: William and Harry — the Friendship and the Feuds, which is due out in October, will look at the royal sibling’s complex relationship and what parts their wives, Duchess Kate and Meghan Markle, played in their ups and downs.

New Book About Prince William and Prince Harry's Rift Reveals 'Painful' Details
Prince Harry and Prince William at the Remembrance Day Service in London on November 10, 2019. Shutterstock

Lacey, who is the official royal consultant to The Crown TV series, said in a press release obtained by Us Weekly that he has “been astonished, elated and sometimes moved to tears by the fresh details and insights I have discovered in researching this story of family conflict.

He added that it’s been “both enthralling and painful to trace this drama” through conversations with people intimately involved with the royal family.

“This dispute between brothers ranks alongside the abdication of King Edward VIII in its impact upon the British monarchy and how it operates,” he continued. “The Queen herself has handled the crisis superbly – you might not even guess there is a crisis at all from her calm and stoic manner! As for Princes William and Harry, the two main protagonists in the rift, they have also acted with honesty and decency within the system, as have their wives.”

Related: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Drama: Everything to Know

Lacey claims that the problem between the pair is partly due to their personalities, but their issues have been made worse by the way the British monarchy works.

“These two brothers – once so close as to seem inseparable and now separated by an ocean and by much more than mere distance – have been acting out the profound contradictions that go back into their childhoods and even before that: into their parents’ ill-fated” marriage and their father Prince Charles‘ “compulsive passion for Camilla.”

“We have seen conflicts between heir and spare in every recent generation of the royal family – but nothing so profound as this,” he continued, adding that it is unclear if the brothers can ever be as close as they once were. Lacey believes that if their fractured relationship can be repaired, then the Queen “will quite surely play a crucial role.”

As previously reported, tension between the brothers came to a head last year, with Harry, 35, revealing in the October 2019 documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey that he and the Duke of Cambridge, 37, are “certainly on different paths at the moment.” But he added that he would always be there for his big brother “as I know he’ll always be there for me.”

Related: Prince William, Prince Harry and More Royals Get Candid About Their Mental Health Struggles

In January, the brothers issued a rare joint statement to deny an “offensive and potentially harmful” report that William had bullied Harry and Meghan, 38, into stepping down as senior members of the royal family.

Since giving up their roles at the end of March, Harry and the former Suits star have moved to L.A. after a brief stay in Canada. Royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight last month that things have gotten better between the pair and they are in touch on the phone.

“They have done video calls together, they have done a lot of family birthdays and I think with Prince Charles not being well [with coronavirus], that really forced the brothers to pick up the phone and get back in touch,” she revealed. The Prince of Wales, 71, has since made a full recovery.

Us reported earlier this month that Harry has also been leaning on William as he struggles to adjust to his new life in California.

“Moving to a completely different country is never easy for anyone, including Harry. And he wasn’t expecting to be faced with so many obstacles,” an insider told Us.

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