The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge led public tributes to Prince Harry on his 36th birthday, a month after claims of the brothers’ strained relationship were published in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s biography.
Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared eager to lay to rest any reports of a family rift and chose a light-hearted snap of Harry beating them both in a running race for their Instagram post. The image, taken in London in 2017, was accompanied by the caption: ‘Wishing a very happy birthday to Prince Harry today!’
The Queen, 94, shared a photo of she and Harry sharing a joke at a joint engagement in 2017, while Prince Charles, 71, opted for a snap of him laughing with his son at the Invictus Games in 2014.
Although his plans have not been announced, it is thought Prince Harry will mark the occasion privately with wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie in Santa Barbara, where they recently bought a $14million mansion.
Prince Harry certainly has plenty to celebrate this year. It was recently announced that he and Meghan, 39, had signed a $150million deal with US media giant Netflix.
Prince William and Kate Middleton appeared eager to lay to rest any reports of a family rift and chose a light-hearted snap of Harry beating them both in a running race for their Instagram post. The image, taken in London in 2017, was accompanied by this simple caption
The Queen, 94, shared a photo of she and Harry sharing a joke at a joint engagement in 2017, seen above. The snap shows Prince Harry beaming at his grandmother at Buckingham Palace
Shortly after, it was revealed that the Sussexes had paid back the £2.4million that had been spent renovating Frogmore Cottage, their former home on the Queen’s Windsor estate.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also stepped up their public and virtual appearances as Covid-19 restrictions ease, with Prince Harry most recently sending a video of support to soldiers taking part in a charity trek.
Meanwhile Meghan last week took part in a video call with clients from her UK patronage Smart Works.
The royals’ public show of unity for Harry’s birthday comes just week after Carolyn Durand, who co-authored the Duke and Duchess’s biography Finding Freedom alongside royal correspondent Omid Scobie, said William and Harry are working towards mending the ‘hurtful’ rift that has torn the once-inseparable brothers apart.
According to Durand, the rift between the two brothers began in 2016, when Harry and Meghan first started dating – and was sparked by a conversation during which William urged his younger brother to slow the romance down and to ‘take some more time getting to know Meghan’.
Prince Charles, 71, opted for a snap of him laughing with his son at the Invictus Games in 2014, pictured, to mark his birthday. Followers said how nice it was to see ‘smiling Harry’
Prince Charles also shared this snap of his son beaming at a royal engagement
The royal expert suggests that these words of advice rubbed Harry the wrong way – and served as the straw that broke the camel’s back as far as the siblings’ relationship was concerned.
‘He expressed to him, maybe he wanted to take some more time getting to know Meghan,’ Durand said. ‘It wasn’t because people didn’t trust Meghan. This was simply because the boys had watched our for each other since they were young children.’
Durand stresses that the falling out between the two brothers did not happen as a result of any anger or resentment on either part however, but rather feelings of ‘hurt’ on both sides.
The bombshell biography also reveals that the two siblings, who were once inseparable, ‘hardly spoke’ in the months after that tense chat, with sources close to the royals alleging that this bitter rift between the brothers only grew wider after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex tied the knot in 2018.
Their already-fraught relationship then suffered another blow at the start of this year, the book details, when Harry and Meghan announced that they were quitting their roles as senior members of the royal family and would be splitting their time between the US and the UK.
However, Durand and Scobie explain that the tension between the two siblings was most certainly borne out of concern on William’s part that Harry’s relationship with Meghan was moving so quickly – a fear that his brother refused to pay mind to.