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The claim was made by Kathie Nicholl, Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent and bestselling author.
“Harry, I’m told, suggested perhaps that they might get some sort of a mediator […] to make some progress,” the royal expert told Entertainment Tonight on Monday. “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.”
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, privately visited Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday before kicking off the 2022 Invictus Games in the Netherlands. Meanwhile, multiple Instagram and Twitter users in Courchevel, France, spotted William and his wife Kate Middleton at a luxury ski resort with their children.
The relationship between Prince Harry and his older brother Prince William has remained strained, royal expert Katie Nicholl claimed. (Getty)
According to Nicholl, Harry wants to return to his homeland in June for the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The Duke of Sussex is hoping to improve his relationship with his sibling, who is second in line to the British throne, before then.
“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 to the outlet. “I would imagine it’s more to do with his brother. I would imagine that the 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 added.
William’s absence during the Duke of Sussex’s visit to the U.K. has raised some eyebrows. However, Nicholl doesn’t believe it was “deliberately staged like that.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were skiing with their family during Prince Harry’s visit to the U.K. (Ben Birchall – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
“I think William and Kate have a limited period of holiday,” she said. “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.”
“… 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 continued. “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.”
Nicholl told the outlet that Harry was very eager to see his family in the U.K. again. He particularly wanted to see his grandmother, 95, and Prince Charles, 73.
“… He was very keen to see his grandmother, he was very keen to see his father, and he is hoping that these talks will be the beginning of a thaw in what, up until now, has been a very icy relationship,” said Nicholl. “… Harry has met with his father, and with Camilla. He’s now had a private meeting with him, Meghan and the queen.”
Prince Harry privately met with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and his father, Prince Charles. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Global Citizen VAX LIVE)
Still, Nicholl pointed out that the Sussexes will need to prove to the rest of the royal family that they can be trusted, especially after giving a televised interview to Oprah Winfrey in 2021 was viewed by nearly 50 million people globally.
“… The queen will be hoping that this will have been an icebreaker, and it will be the first of more meetings and trips over to England to come in the future,” said Nicholl.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to the U.K. is the first since they stepped down as senior members of the royal family in 2020.
Rumors of an alleged royal feud came to light in 2019, when Nicholl claimed that since Markle, 40, and Harry, 37, announced their engagement in 2017, William, 39, grew increasingly worried about his brother and his whirlwind romance with the American actress.
Katie Nicholl claimed that Prince William was worried about his brother’s whirlwind romance with the former American actress. (Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images )
“William was quite concerned that the relationship had moved so quickly,” Nicholl claimed in the TLC documentary “Kate V. Meghan: Princesses at War?” “And being close to Harry, you know, probably the only person close enough to say to Harry, ‘This seems to be moving quickly. Are you sure?’ And I think what was meant as well intended brotherly advice just riled Harry.
“Harry is hugely protective of Meghan,” Nicholl continued. “He saw that as criticism, he interpreted that as his brother not really being behind this marriage, this union. And I don’t think things have been quite right ever since.”
Harry hinted at an alleged rift with his older brother in ITV’s 2019 documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.”
“Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he said at the time. “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 I know he’ll always be there for me.”
Prince William and Prince Harry briefly reunited in July 2021 to unveil a statue honoring their late mother Princess Diana. (Getty Images)
During the tell-all with Winfrey, 68, Harry revealed that the “relationship is space at the moment.”
He added, “and time heals all things, hopefully.”
The couple also claimed there were “conversations and concerns” regarding the skin color of their then-unborn child, Archie. However, they didn’t name the person who made the remarks. Harry later clarified that his grandparents, the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, didn’t make the commentary.
In its statement released after the interview aired, Buckingham Palace said the family was “saddened” to learn of the couple’s struggles and noted that the allegations surrounding race were “concerning,” but added that “some recollections may vary.”
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex watch the sitting volley ball competition on day 2 of the Invictus Games 2020 at Zuiderpark on April 17, 2022, in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
William later followed up with a personal response. He assured reporters at an event that the royal family is “very much not a racist family.” William and Harry briefly reunited in July to unveil a statue honoring their late mother, Princess Diana.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex reside in California with their two children. The Invictus Games end on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.