While Prince William has not publicly reacted to younger brother Prince Harry’s bombshell Spare claims, royal expert Alexander Larman believes a response would have gone a long way toward ending their feud.
“I’m on record of saying that I think that they should have responded. I think Prince William should have given an interview in which he extended the hand of brotherhood,” Larman exclusively told Us Weekly on Wednesday, March 29, while promoting his book The Windsors at War: The King, His Brother and a Family Divided, which hits shelves on April 18. “He should have said, ‘We’re all very concerned about him. We understand that he has most awful traumatic shock when his mother [Princess Diana] died so young. You know, we know life has been hard for him.’”
The royal historian continued: “I mean, the thing is the royal family’s motto has always been, ‘Never complain, never explain.’ And that’s done very well [for them], but you do wonder when a member of a royal family is not playing by the same rules as you, how well it’s going to go in the long term because it was the same thing with Duke of Windsor. He wasn’t playing by any of the established rules because they’d all been torn up for him. So he was a complete loose cannon and so there wasn’t an awful lot and his family could do in order to reign him in. Because if you can’t take some of these’s money away [or] you can’t take a very royal status away, what can you do?”
Edward VIII was previously the king of England before he abdicated the throne in December 1936 in order to marry American divorcée Wallis Simpson. At that point, Queen Elizabeth II’s father, King George VI, ascended the throne. Edward’s abdication soon sparked a rift with his younger brother, similarly to the Duke of Sussex and the Prince of Wales’ own sibling feud.
William, 40, and Harry, 38, have been at odds since 2019 when they officially split their royal households upon the younger duke’s wedding to Meghan Markle. Tensions heightened when Harry and the 41-year-old Suits alum announced in 2020 that they were stepping down from their positions as senior working royals.
“Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” the Invictus Games founder — who shares Prince Archie, 3, and Princess Lilibet, 21 months, with Meghan — said in 2019’s Harry & Meghan: An African Journey documentary. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me. … We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly.”
Harry continued to disclose details of the brothers’ rift in his Harry & Meghan docuseries and Spare memoir, which were released in December 2022 and January 2023, respectively. In one passage of his book, the military veteran even alleged that the Duke of Cornwall had knocked him down in a fight and broke his necklace.
“What was different here was this level of frustration, and I talk about the ‘red mist’ that I had for so many years — and I saw this ‘red mist’ in him,” Harry claimed in his ITV sit-down with presenter Tom Bradby in January. “He wanted me to hit him back, but I chose not to.”
While William has yet to publicly respond to his younger sibling’s claims, a source told Us that he has not made any efforts to reopen the lines of communication. “William feels that Harry is all smoke and mirrors and is not to be trusted. He’s trying to move on with his life,” the insider told Us last month, adding that “there has been a massive breach of trust.”
Larman, for his part, further speculated about what it would take to get the two sons of King Charles III and his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, to hash out their differences.
“I honestly don’t know,” the author told Us on Wednesday. “I can’t see in the current situation how he’s ever going to have any sort of relationship with any of [the royals]. And it’s that thing that was revealed [in his book that] apparently King Charles said, ‘Don’t make my last years difficult ones’ because he’s not an old man. He’s not a young man either and we have no idea how long he’s gonna be king for. He’s certainly not gonna be as long as his mother was queen.”
Larman added: “And so after that when the Prince of Wales becomes king if he’s still estranged from his younger brother that’s going to be a very old state of affairs, isn’t it?”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi