Prince Harry and Prince William have different approaches in life, with one royal expert believing that their parents’ failed marriage impacted them greatly, but in very distinct ways. Find out the lessons each brother learned from Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ relationship.
Prince William’s focus is more on duty
Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers, shared his perspective during a January 2021 interview with Elle, while discussing the feud between the brothers. Certainly witnessing Prince Charles and Diana’s crumbling relationship when they were just young boys played a role in the men Prince Harry and Prince William became.
Lacey noted how the brothers “have taken different lessons from those years,” with Prince William focusing on duty and Prince Harry seeking love rather than making the mistakes his parents made.
“The lesson that William took from the breakdown and the emotional chaos was at least he had this duty, this responsibility to be king, the future monarch, and he had to live up to that,” Lacey explained.
He continued, “This became a source of strength for him; for other kids, it could have been a source of conceit or arrogance, but on the whole, it gave him this driving sense of duty.”
Lacey also noted that for Prince William, he was measured in his relationship with Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. “Even when he falls in love, he more or less politely requests his lady love to wait nine years before she marries him; here [in the U.K.] she was called ‘Waity Katie,’” he explained. “She did her duty, and they are now emerging as a very attractive future king and queen. They are much more attractive to most Britains than Charles and Camilla.”
Prince Harry was intent on not repeating his parents’ mistakes
Prince Harry doesn’t have that same sense of duty after “emerging from the same emotional chaos,” Lacey shared. “He takes a different lesson: His parents were locked into an arranged, loveless marriage, and he’s not going to make that mistake.”
The writer and historian for The Crown continued, “He’s going to go for love, and that’s what he’s done with Meghan, unapologetically. The first thing he says is he fell in love the moment he saw her.”
Lacey compared the brothers with Edward VIII who, in 1936, abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, leaving duty for love.
“Just as in 1936, it was duty that won, and love had to go abroad,” Lacey explained. “I expect that is the long-term solution here: Duty in the form of William and Kate will take over the situation, and Harry and his love will enjoy the freedom of America and, I hope, obviously there will be some sort of reconciliation.”
“I think there will be [a reconciliation],” he added. “There is texture and history between these brothers, but it’s never going to be the same. I would imagine the base for Harry and Meghan is going to remain in the United States for the foreseeable future.”
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