Prince William and younger brother Prince Harry, the sons of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, are only two years apart in age and have remained close all their lives — with notable exceptions. Both boys grew up under the loving care of their parents as well as nannies like Tiggy Pettifer, and attended first Ludgrove School and then Eton College before their paths diverged, with William going on to St. Andrews where he met Kate Middleton and Harry going on to officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. From the English social scene to royal engagements, the world watched Harry and William growing up together in photos, seemingly inseparable for so long — and then watched too, as a rift rarely captured in the pictures made itself known between the once-close siblings.
With today’s ongoing feud, it’s easy to feel as though the worst has come to pass for Diana’s boys. Rumors of tensions between the two first began when Harry met Meghan Markle and proposed soon thereafter, allegedly against William’s advice to take things more slowly. From there, reasons why the two might be at odds grew more and more far-fetched until the Sussexes’ 2020 exit from the royal family made it perfectly clear where the two might disagree. In Harry and Meghan’s March 2021 Oprah interview, it was made more explicit than ever, and for the world to see. Ever since their accusations of racism and neglect from the royal family, Harry’s relationship with William has reportedly been more strained than ever, with the latter feeling humiliated and unwilling to continue these talks on a global stage.
Sadly, the brothers have had their private affairs made public from the start of their lives, and all eyes will be on them as they reunite this July 1, 2021, on what would have been their mother Diana’s 60th birthday, to unveil a new statue. They were by each other’s sides through their parents’ volatile separation and their mother’s tragic death, and they’ll unite now joined in purpose to celebrate a legacy they both can agree on.
As we saw with Prince Philip’s funeral, putting Harry and William in the same place doesn’t guarantee a happy reunion, and the brothers will be treading new territory as they (and if they) attempt to forge a new relationship an ocean apart, one royal and the other not. With all their shared history, we’ll never stop hoping for these two to be back on good terms.
As we look back at photos of Harry and William growing up together over the years, we’ll be thinking of their next reunion to come and hoping for a glimpse at some reconciliation.
A version of this article was originally published in May 2021.