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We’ve known for years that the once-close relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William has unraveled as a result of constant bickering and tension between the brothers.

But there’s still some disagreement with regard to exactly how and why this animosity began to build.

As with everything bad thing that’s happened to the royals over the course of the past five years, the British tabloid press has been happy to place all the blame on Meghan Markle.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn, however, that Meghan was the never the problem.

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Rather, William seemed to become irrationally frustrated by Harry’s desire to “rush into” a relationship.

Did the elder brother’s prejudices factor into his disapproval of Harry and Meghan’s relationship?

Almost certainly!

But it’s also likely that William would have butted into any situation in which he felt his control over Harry loosening as a result of a new romance.

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The situation is described in great detail in a new book by Christopher Andersen entitled Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan.

According to Andersen, William was in the habit of openly criticizing Harry and Meghan’s relationship.

Not surprisingly, these constant expressions of “concern” eventually prompted Harry to defend himself and his partner.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in 2018

“Prince Harry was so incensed when his older brother, Prince William, questioned his fast-moving romance with Meghan Markle that he blurted out, ‘Who the hell do you think you are?’” Andersen writes in an excerpt published by Page Six.

“The alleged outburst in September 2017 happened when Harry indicated that he was about to propose to his American girlfriend,” the author continues, “prompting William to ask, ‘Why rush things?’” 

It’s sadly not surprising that William wasn’t the only one to voice his objections to the Harry-Meghan union.

“One of the skeptics was his uncle, Earl Spencer—the brother of the late Princess Diana—whom William drafted to underscore his opinion that the lovebirds should slow down,” Andersen reported.

Harry began to suspect that William had enlisted the aid of their uncles, which of course made “matters far worse.”

According to Andersen, Harry was “furious that his brother was actively seeking to have others interfere in his personal affairs.”

Prince William and Harry

“I don’t know what to believe,” William reportedly complained to an associate at one point.

Andersen claims that Prince William took his concerns with Prince Charles (of course), complaining to his father that Harry’s relationship was “like something I’d never seen.” 

“William went on to say that ‘it feels like I have lost my best friend,’” Andersen writes.

Arm in Arm in Arm in Arm

It’s easy to overstate the importance of such revelations, but it’s possible that for all the ink that’s been spilled concerning the conflict between the princes, no quote has better encapsulated the rift better than the one above.

So what’s next for William and Harry?

Is there any hope for a reconciliation, or at least a cooling of tensions now that the brothers live on separate contents?

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Well, based on recent updates, it seems that William, Harry, Kate, and Meg have all achieved a sort of uneasy truce.

Insiders say Kate reached out to Meghan after the birth of daughter Lilibet, and the duchesses have been communicating semi-regularly for the past several months.

Harry and Meghan will not be making the trip to the UK for the holidays, but it sounds as though that decision was made for practical purposes, not out of any animosity.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Oprah

Asked if the two families will be exchanging presents this year, royal expert (and frequent mouthpiece for the Queen) Katie Nicholl was quite adamant in her response.

“Yes, of course,” she told OK! magazine.

“They give gifts to the whole family and that includes all of their nieces and nephews.”

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So William and Harry will probably never be as close as they once were, but at least they’re going through the motions.

And as we all know, for some families, that’s the best that can ever be hoped for.