Published On: Sun, Mar 17th, 2024

Prince Harry and Prince William’s feud ‘dates back decades’ as childhood rivalry laid bare | Royal | News

The ongoing feud between and can be traced back to their childhood rivalry, according to acclaimed psychotherapist Helen Villiers, even though they once appeared to have a close friendship.

Harry and William were each other’s best men at their wedding and often seemed to have a charming brotherly bond, however they have drifted further and further apart since Harry married Meghan Markle and moved to California.

In his book Spare the Duke of Sussex even accused his older brother of physically attacking him during an altercation in 2019, and the pair did not see each other when Harry flew back to the UK to see King Charles in February.

Ms Villiers, who specialises in family relationships and childhood trauma in her work, explained to how a childhood spent in the royal bubble has influenced William and Harry’s relationship now.

She said: “Where one child is valued more highly than another in his family system, regardless of whether or not the parents are trying to treat them equally, there will inevitably be rivalry and it could be that they are the heir to the throne and it could be that one is more academically intelligent or gifted or something than the other.

“And as a result, they are both internally in the family system valued more highly, but also externally valued more highly. If we look at William and Harry, growing up as children, William was heir to the throne, the firstborn boy and therefore, he naturally has had much more media attention priority.”

Ms Villiers acknowledged that even if Princess Diana and Prince Charles had made sure they treated their sons exactly the same, Harry in particular would always find it tough knowing his brother was valued more than him by the outside world, as well as by the institution of the monarchy.

She added: “There is a constant narrative that Harry is not as good as William, which of course is going to absolutely show up in their relationship with each other because Harry will always feel that he’s less than and believed potentially, that William buys into that narrative, which he probably will because that’s the narrative they’ve been taught.

“That’s not any fault of his own, it’s just the narratives that they’ve been taught to believe and conditioned with and therefore creates this constant ongoing conflict between them.

“And where they are concerned, it cannot be disproved because William is going to be the King of England at some point and therefore, has a higher position than Harry and it can’t be challenged that Harry is not as important as William because William is indeed more important.

“So yes, absolutely, their difficulties in their relationship will 100 percent have originated in childhood, and without really good management and support, they will have found that very difficult to navigate.”

One person who made it clear that she loved both boys equally was their late mother, Princess Diana, who would be “heartbroken” by their fighting according to her former butler.

Paul Burrell said on behalf of Slingo: “I saw first-hand Diana raise William and Harry and it was always Harry’s duty and his job to be a wingman for his brother.

“He always knew that William would be king and Harry would be second in charge, but something happened, and that was Meghan.

“She changed his world and turned it upside down. Diana would not be happy with the way he has deserted his post.

“He has not only deserted his post, he has deserted his family and his country.”

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