The Duke of Cambridge, 40, and his younger brother, 37, “hit rock bottom” after Harry and Meghan Markle sat down for a tell-all interview with CBS in March 2021, the insider says, adding that the bond between the siblings is “doomed” and “irreparable.”
Per the insider, William “doesn’t know who [Harry] is anymore and the trust between them is strained,” especially after the royal family was “burned so many times” by the Duke of Sussex’s vocal criticism. “They’ll never recover from the damage that has been done.”
Harry first hinted at tension between him and William during the October 2019 ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey when he mentioned having both “good days” and “bad days” with his older brother. The following January, the Archewell cofounders announced their plans to step down from their senior royal duties and split time between the U.K. and North America. At the time, a source exclusively told Us that the news hadn’t “gone down well with William,” who was “blindsided” by the move.
The Suits alum and her husband later settled in California with their son, Archie, now 3, before welcoming daughter Lili in June 2021. Ahead of Lili’s arrival, Harry shed more light on where he stands with William.
“I love William to bits. We’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience, but we are on different paths,” Harry said during the couple’s CBS interview, claiming William and Prince Charles were both “trapped” within the monarchy. “The relationship is space at the moment and time heals all things, hopefully.”
Along with his and Meghan’s bombshell tell-all claims, the BetterUp CIO is planning to share more details from his life behind the palace walls in an upcoming memoir — which has already caused a stir among his relatives before its release. “William does not want his brother writing a book on the royal family,” the first source tells Us.
Harry reunited with William at Prince Philip’s April 2021 funeral and at the July 2021 unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue in the Kensington Palace gardens. Earlier this month, the dukes were both present for Queen Elizabeth II‘s Service of Thanksgiving as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations — but the duo did not sit together during the event and weren’t spotted together throughout the weekend.
Despite their different points of view, William “still loves his little brother,” per the insider. “He’s his own flesh and blood and that underlying affection will never go away. William’s not one to bear grudges but what’s right is right. He’ll be civil to a point, but he’s not going to play happy families with them again or pretend that everything’s A-OK when it’s anything but.”
Watch the video above for more on Harry and William’s relationship — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.