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Harry Wants a ‘Mediator’ to Help Fix His ‘Very Difficult’ Relationship With William

Harry didn't see William during his trip to the UK—but he wants that to change.
Keith Mayhew/Landmark Media/Newscom/The Mega Agency.

Mending their rift. Prince Harry and William’s relationship has been on the rocks for some time now, but the Duke of Sussex reportedly hopes to sort things out with his older brother once and for all. To do so, one royal expert says that Harry has already floated the idea of hiring a “mediator” to help patch things up with William.

Royal expert and Vanity Fair editor Katie Nicholl shared some updates about Harry and William’s relationship with Entertainment Tonight, telling the site on April 18, 2022, that the royal brothers are far from close at the moment—but Harry is intent on fixing things. “Harry, I’m told, suggested perhaps that they might get some sort of a mediator in on sort of these talks, to make some progress,” Nicholl revealed. “It was something that he had suggested to his father. He’s made it very clear that he wants to sort things out. He wants things to be improved.”

Nicholl’s comments came just days after Harry—who has been living in California with his wife Meghan Markle since the pair stepped back from their roles as senior working members of the royal family in 2020—visited Queen Elizabeth during a pitstop in the U.K. ahead of his travels to the Netherlands for the 2022 Invictus Games. According to Nicholl, this isn’t the last time this year that the Duke of Sussex hopes to visit Her Majesty. The Vanity Fair editor claimed that Harry wants to attend her Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June—at which point he’s also hoping that some tensions have eased between him and his brother.

“I’m hearing that he wants to be over here for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June. I think, possibly, that suggestion of a mediator is probably less the relationship with his father, because his father is open to wanting to sort things out,” Nicholl explained. “I would imagine it’s more to do with his brother. I would imagine that that idea of wanting a mediator is probably more to do with him and William. His relationship, really, is at a bit of a crossroads. We have been told for many months now that they’re not close at the moment. It has been very, very difficult.”

Nicholl also went on to reveal that while Harry was in the U.K. to visit the Queen, he did not end up reuniting with William or his sister-in-law, Duchess Kate. But their missed reunion apparently had less to do with their rift, and was more a matter of timing—according to Nicholl, the Cambridges already had a planned vacation before Harry’s visit was set in stone. “I think people will read into William, perhaps, deliberately not being here in that same week that his brother was coming over. I don’t think it was deliberately staged like that, personally, and I think William and Kate have a limited period of holiday,” Nicholl shared. “Over Easter, they wanted to take the children skiing. I think what wasn’t clear, was that once Harry’s trip was confirmed and it was all going ahead, William wasn’t going to change his holiday plans to come back or cut short his holiday in order to see his brother.”

But that doesn’t mean William hasn’t sidelined his brother in the past. According to Nicholl, the Duke of Cambridge has purposefully excluded his brother from family gatherings and celebrations as a result of their ongoing tensions. “When William had a party over here last year to thank those that had been involved with the Diana statue, he didn’t actually invite Harry to that,” Nicholl explained, referring to the tribute statue unveiling arranged by Harry and William in July 2021 in honor of their late mother, Princess Diana. “He didn’t ask him to come back over from the States for it, so I think that’s some indication as to how tense and how difficult that relationship is, and that may well be why Harry suggested to his father that they may need something of a mediator in all of this, because it’s a sticky relationship here. The one that’s much harder to get back on an even track is William and Harry.”

For now, however, Harry and William’s relationship isn’t a mirror for the Duke of the Sussex’s dealings with other members of the royal family. During his visit to the U.K. in April 2022, Harry’s travels included a private meeting with himself, Meghan and the Queen that appeared to go well—though there are few details about what they really spoke about. “For the meeting with the queen, it was just the queen, Meghan, and Harry, and very few details of that meeting have been leaked. I suspect it’s going to stay quite watertight. I think the Sussexes really have to prove that they can be trusted now, and that they are now back in touch with the family,” Nicholl shared.

Battle of Brothers by Robert Lacey

Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers.

For more about Prince Harry and Prince William’s feud, check out historian Robert Lacey’s 2020 book, Battle of Brothers. In this New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, Lacey takes a close look at Harry and William’s relationship throughout the years and considers each moment that led to their eventual estrangement. From the impact of their mother Princess Diana’s tragic death and the pressures of their roles in the royal family (William, the future king vs. Harry, the spare), to the influence their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have had on their differing paths, Battle of Brothers reveals all the “highs, lows, and discretions” of these brothers’ lives in a way “never offered before.”

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