There’s a reason that royal watchers often refer to the British royal family as the world’s longest-running soap opera. It’s a story filled with glamorous people, power struggles, scandals, and, sometimes, tragedy.
The most recent round of press has focused on a rumored rift between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and Prince William and Kate Middleton. There’s always gossip when it comes to the royals, but reports really heated up after it was announced that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex would be making their official home in Windsor outside of London proper, away from Kensington Palace where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge live with their three children.
Initial reports focused on a problem between the duchesses, which multiple royal insiders have since debunked. Now, sources are claiming the tension is really between the brothers—with a heartbreaking reason at the core. A story from the Sun‘s royal reporter Emily Andrews posits that Harry’s extreme protectiveness of Markle is causing some of the problems.
“It’s my opinion that Harry feels he couldn’t protect his mother, so he’s going all out to protect his wife,” one royal courtier reportedly said. “This is his way of atoning.”
Harry was just 12 years old when Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris after being chased by the paparazzi. And while he was young at the time, he was old enough to see how his mother was harassed and followed by the press at every turn. It’s not a leap to assume he’d want to protect his wife from it. “He will brook absolutely no criticism of Meghan,” the source continues. “And he is so sensitive he often sees criticism or negativity where there isn’t any.”
If palace sources are to be believed, the disagreement with William may stem from some questions the future king asked his little brother early on in his relationship with Markle. “William told his brother they knew nothing about her background, her intentions, what she was really like,” another “well-placed” source told the Sun. “He just wanted to stress that becoming part of the Royal Family is a massive undertaking, and the pressure and scrutiny is unrelenting. Was Meghan the right one?”
Andrews also notes that there is no “war” between the brothers. “As far as we understand, it’s perfectly civil between the two couples. And this is a redrawing of boundaries/relationships,” she says.
Whatever is going on, we’re hopeful all will be worked out. It sounds like everyone involved has good intentions, and every family has their highs and lows—even royal ones.