Coronation of King Charles overshadowed by Prince Harry, Prince William feud

Prince of Wales, Duke of Sussex reportedly haven't spoken since release of Harry's memoir

Prince William and Prince Harry are headed for a royal reunion at King Charles III's coronation amid their longstanding feud.

The historic ceremony at London's Westminster Abbey on Saturday will mark the first time that the 40-year-old Prince of Wales and the 38-year-old Duke of Sussex will be seen together publicly since the funeral of their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, last September.

There is little chance of a reconciliation between the brothers, whose relationship reportedly hit its lowest point following the release of Harry's explosive memoir "Spare," according to multiple insiders. The royal family has never publicly commented on the book.

harry william looking unhappy

Prince William and Prince Harry are set for a royal reunion at the coronation amid their longstanding feud. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Harry's stay in the United Kingdom will last less than 24 hours as the prince reportedly plans to fly back to California immediately after the coronation to be with his wife, Meghan Markle, 41, and their children.


The pair share son Archie, 3, and daughter Lilibet, 1. Last month, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Harry would attend the coronation but Markle and the kids would stay in California.

As Archie turns 4 years old on the coronation date, Harry reportedly cut his trip short to celebrate his son's birthday at home with his family.

Several royal watchers have speculated that William and Harry will not speak at all during the event. Royal journalist Omid Scobie, who is close to the Sussexes, confirmed in a Wednesday interview that relations between the brothers remain strained.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales with sons Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry

Harry will attend the coronation, but his visit to London is expected to last less than 24 hours. (Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

"There has been minimal contact since the queen's funeral," Harry and Meghan's biographer said during an appearance on "This Morning."

However, Scobie said that Harry and Charles have had a "regular pattern of conversation" since the release of "Spare," though the two have not been seen together publicly together since the queen's funeral. Harry reportedly didn't see Charles or William during his surprise visit to London for a court hearing in March.

placeholderDespite weeks of speculation over whether Harry would attend the coronation, Scobie said that "there was never any question on whether he would want to come or not, it was a question at one point on whether he would be invited, I think."

Unlike William, Harry will not have an official role in Charles' coronation ceremony. He is also not expected to play a part in the processions or make an appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

King Charles in green suit adorned with medals and chains sits in a royal chair next to a crown

Unlike William, Harry will have no official role in his father's coronation. (Alastair Grant)

Harry and Megan were excluded from appearing on the balcony during Queen Elizabeth's Platinum Jubilee last June since they had stepped down as working members of the royal family in January 2020.

"Unfortunately, there is nothing carved out in the ceremony for him," Scobie said. "I would imagine if Harry and Meghan were working royals still, and everything had worked out differently, there may have been some way for them to have been orchestrated into it, or at least to be visible on that big balcony."


Another reason royal experts doubt William and Harry will actually come face to face at the coronation is the uncertainty over where the Duke of Sussex will be seated during the ceremony. He is unlikely to sit in the front row, which is usually reserved for working royals. However, sources who spoke with Page Six denied reports that Harry would be sitting as far as "10 rows back."

With the royal family in the world spotlight on Saturday, any interactions between William and Harry will be heavily scrutinized. Ahead of their much anticipated reunion, here's a look back at how the brothers' relationship deteriorated over the last few years.

William previously said that he and Harry bonded after their mother, Princess Diana, died in a 1997 car crash. (Mathieu Polak/Sygma)

For most of their lives, William and Harry appeared to share a close relationship after enduring a number of hardships at a young age, including their parents' highly publicized divorce and the death of their mother, Princess Diana. William was 15 and Harry was 12 when Diana died in a car crash at the age of 36 in August 1997.

"We have been brought closer because of the circumstances," William said in 2017. "You are uniquely bonded because of what we’ve been through."

Harry was William's best man when the future king married Kate Middleton, now 41, in April 2011. In May 2016, the trio joined forces to launch the mental health campaign Heads Together. 

Fractures began appearing in the brothers' relationship after Harry embarked on a romance with Markle, an American actress who starred in the USA Network show "Suits." The two began dating in July 2016, and Harry confirmed the relationship with an official statement in November of that year.

In the statement, Harry also pleaded for privacy and condemned the "abuse and harassment" of Meghan by members of the press and social media trolls. At the time, William released his own statement in support of his brother.

However, Harry wrote in "Spare" that William wasn't very encouraging of the relationship and expressed his concerns that the couple was moving too fast. He recalled that William told him it was "too soon" to propose to Markle.

A close-up of Meghan Markle staring at the camera

Harry said that William wasn't very supportive of his relationship with Meghan Markle. (Getty Images)



"In fact, he’d actually been pretty discouraging about my even dating Meg," Harry wrote. "One day, sitting together in his garden, he’d predicted a host of difficulties I could expect if I hooked up with an ‘American actress,’ a phrase he always managed to make sound like a ‘convicted felon.’"

Harry and Markle announced their engagement in November 2017. At the time, William and his wife, Princess Kate, expressed their happiness for the couple.

"We are very excited for Harry and Meghan," they wrote in a joint statement. "It has been wonderful getting to know Meghan and to see how happy she and Harry are together."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married on May 19, 2018. (Jeff J. Mitchell)

In May 2018, Harry and Markle tied the knot in a lavish televised wedding with William serving as his brother's best man. However, rumors of "tension" between Markle and Middleton began to swirl by the end of 2018.

Reports later emerged alleging that the California native made the Duchess of Cambridge cry ahead of the royal wedding during a fight over bridesmaid dresses. Both Harry and Meghan would later dispute the reports and allege that the reverse had actually occurred.

In March 2019, royal filmmaker Nick Bullen told Fox News that despite the rumors of a feud between Markle and Middleton, "It's actually that William and Harry have had a rift."

"All brothers fall out. All families fall out. Their fallout at the moment is becoming public," he added.

"I think people don’t want to think about that with these two boys," he said. "These are two boys who lost their mother at a really early age, and the fairy tale is that they are closer than ever and need each other, and I think that’s probably true, but equally they are two grown men in their 30s, starting their own families, different wives, they are moving to different parts of the country, different duties."

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Rumors of a rift between the brothers were later confirmed by Harry. (Fox News Digital)

That month, Buckingham Palace announced that Harry and Markle were moving out of the Kensington Palace office they previously shared with William and Kate. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were given their own offices in Buckingham Palace.

In April 2019, Harry and Markle moved out of Kensington Palace, where William and Kate lived, to take up their own residence at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.


Another separation between the couples took place in July 2019 when Harry and Markle split from the joint charity that they shared with William and Kate. Kensington Palace announced that the Sussexes were leaving the Royal Foundation to set up their own charitable foundation but would continue to work with William and Kate on projects, including Heads Together.

Prince William and Prince Harry at Queens vigil

Harry addressed rumors of a rift with William. (Aaron Chown)

Harry appeared to confirm the rift rumors in October 2019. In the ITV documentary "Harry & Meghan: An African Journey," he said, "Part of this role and part of this job, and this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably, you know, stuff happens."

He continued, "But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. And we’re certainly on different paths at the moment, but I’ll always be there for him as I know he’ll always be there for me."

placeholder"We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but you know, I love him dearly," Harry added. "The majority of this stuff [in the press] is created out of nothing, but you know, as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days."
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in a photo

Markle and Harry announced that they were stepping down as senior royals in 2020. (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

In January 2020, Harry and Markle stunned the world when they announced on Instagram that they were stepping down from their roles as senior royals and would work to become financially independent. At the time, a source told Us Weekly that the couple had not informed the royal family of their decision.

"William was blindsided by Harry and Meghan’s decision and statement," the insider told the outlet. 

"There’s still a rift between the two brothers," the source added. "It’s sad because when they were younger, William would be the first person Harry would go to with big news like this."

"William is incredibly hurt, but at the same time he has his own family to focus on and is trying to move forward with his life."

A week after the announcement, the brothers issued a joint statement in response to a story in a U.K. newspaper that alleged their rift was due to William's "bullying attitude." 

"Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex and The Duke of Cambridge," the statement read.

placeholder"For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful."
Queen Elizabeth with William and Harry

Queen Elizabeth held a meeting to discuss Harry and Markle's future in the royal family. (Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The statement was released on the day of a meeting held between Harry, William, Charles and Elizabeth that was dubbed the "Sandringham Summit." The late monarch called the meeting to discuss Harry and Markle's future within the royal family following their announcement.


Harry and Meghan later moved to Canada and Los Angeles before eventually settling down in Montecito, California. Their split from the royal family was formalized in February 2021. The following month, the pair sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which they discussed their decision to step down. During the television special, Harry and Meghan accused an unnamed royal family member of racism.

Harry also shed some light on the current state of his relationship with William, telling the host that they were on "different paths."

"As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been to hell together. But we’re on different paths," he said. "The relationship is ‘space’ at the moment. And time heals all things, hopefully."

The Fab Four after the Queens death

The foursome reunited for a walkabout after Elizabeth's death. (Chris Jackson - WPA Pool)

A few days later, William became the first royal family member to address the interview when he was asked by a reporter if he had spoken to Harry. "No, I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I will," he said.

placeholderWhen asked if the royal family was racist, William replied, "Very much not."

The brothers were reunited the following month when Harry returned for the funeral of their grandfather, Prince Philip. Markle, who was pregnant with Lilibet at the time, stayed in California. In July 2021, the two attended a statue unveiling for Princess Diana on what would have been her 60th birthday.


When news broke that Queen Elizabeth was gravely ill in September 2022, Harry and Markle were already in the U.K. on a planned trip to attend a series of charity events. However, the brothers took separate flights to Balmoral Castle. William was accompanied by Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Edward's wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, on a Royal Air Force jet while Harry took a flight on a commercially leased plane.

In a January 2023 interview on "60 Minutes," Harry said that he wasn't invited to join his family on the jet.

"I asked my brother, I said, ‘What are your plans? How are you and Kate getting up there?’" Harry told CNN host Anderson Cooper.

He continued, "And then, a couple of hours later, all of the family members that live within the Windsor and Ascot area were jumping on a plane together. A plane with 12, 14, maybe 16 seats."


Cooper asked Harry to confirm if he had been invited on the RAF jet, to which he responded, "I was not invited."

After Queen Elizabeth's death, William, Kate, Harry and Markle were seen together for the first time since Commonwealth Day in March 2020. The foursome greeted mourners on a walkabout outside Windsor Castle. Though Harry and Markle extended their trip following the monarch's death, they returned home the day after her funeral.

Meghan Markle cries in a couch and puts her hands to her eyes as Prince Harry looks at her with worry

Harry and Markle made several bombshell allegations in their Netflix docuseries. (Netflix)

In the Sussexes' two-part Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan," Harry dropped several bombshells about his relationship with William. He accused his brother of breaking a promise that they had made by using his press office against him.

"To see my brother’s office copy the very same thing that we promised the two of us would never ever do, that was heartbreaking," he said.

Harry also said that the joint statement denying William's "bullying" in January 2020 was issued without his permission.

"I couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that," he said in the second volume of the docuseries released in December.

He continued, "I rang M [Meghan] and I told her, and she burst into floods of tears because within four hours they were happy to lie to protect my brother, and yet for three years, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us."

Prince William and Prince Harry

Harry wrote that William screamed at him after he announced he was stepping down. (Yui Mok - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Harry also shared details about William's allegedly explosive reaction to his and Markle's royal exit during the Sandringham Summit.

"It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me," the duke said.

Further details about the siblings' fraught relationship came with the publication of "Spare" in January. Among the book's many claims, Harry accused William of physically attacking him during a 2019 fight over Markle.

Harry wrote that William paid him a visit at his London home, Nottingham Cottage, and showed up looking "piping hot." William then allegedly told him that Markle was "difficult," "rude," "abrasive" and had "alienated half the staff."


When Harry told William that he expected better of his older brother, he wrote that he was "shocked to see that this actually pissed him off."

Harry recalled that he gave William a glass of water in the kitchen to calm him down and told him, "Willy, I can't speak to you when you're like this."


"He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast. He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor,"  Harry wrote. "I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out."

harry william in jerseys

The Duke of Sussex accused his brother of physically attacking him. (Chris Ison/PA Images via Getty Images)

Harry wrote that William urged him to hit him back: "'Come on, hit me! You'll feel better if you hit me! Do what? Come on, we always used to fight. You'll feel better if you hit me'" Harry claimed William told him.

"'No, only you'll feel better if I hit you. Please...just leave,'" Harry recalled responding.

According to Harry, William apologized and asked him not to tell Markle. Harry later wrote that he didn't tell her at first but "couldn't lie to her" when she noticed the "scrapes and bruises" on his back.

"She wasn't that surprised and she wasn't at all angry," he wrote. "She was just very sad."

In "Spare," Harry referred to William as his "beloved brother and arch-nemesis" and described their relationship as more complicated than it had appeared on the surface. Harry recounted instances of jealousy between the two and recalled that William was cold and distant to him when they attended Eton together.

During an interview with "Good Morning America" in early January, host Michael Strahan asked Harry what he meant when he said that William was his "arch-nemesis."

placeholder"There has always been this competition between us, weirdly," he replied. "I think it really plays into or always played by the 'heir/spare.'"


William has not publicly responded to the allegations made in either the Netflix docuseries or in "Spare."

King Charles in a tuxedo poses with his son Prince Harry on the steps of the National History Museum in 2019

Harry said he still wants to reconcile with Charles and William. (Samir Hussein/WireImage)

In a January interview with ITV, Harry wouldn't reveal whether he would attend Charles' coronation if invited.

"There’s a lot that can happen between now and then," he said. "But, you know, the door is always open. The ball is in their court. There’s a lot to be discussed, and I really hope that they are willing to sit down and talk about it."

Harry went on to say that there is still love between himself, William and Charles.


"I love my father. I love my brother. I love my family," he said. "Nothing of what I've done in this book or otherwise has ever been [done with] any intention to harm them or hurt them. You know, the truth is something that I need to rely on."

The duke also expressed his hopes that he would be able to reconcile with William and Charles in the future.

"Forgiveness is 100 percent a possibility because I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back. At the moment, I don't recognize them as much as they probably don't recognize me," Harry said.

He continued, "Though I would like to have reconciliation, I would like accountability. I have managed to make peace over this time with a lot of things that have happened. But that doesn't mean that I'm just going to let it go. You know, I've made peace with it. But I still would like reconciliation. And not only would that be wonderful for us, but it'll be fantastic for them as well."

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