We may finally know what was the real breaking point in Prince William and Harry’s relationship. According to a new ITV documentary, the “final straw” for the Duke of Sussex occurred when he and his wife were denied the right to their own royal household—a decision that reportedly came after his brother sided with palace staffers who accused the Duchess of Sussex of “bullying” in 2018.
The new ITV documentary, titled Harry and William: What Went Wrong?, premiered on the British network on Sunday, July 4. In it, former royal correspondent Camilla Tominey discussed how tensions rose after Meghan and Harry requested to create their own royal household. At the time, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s professional operations were shared at Kensington Palace with the Cambridges, including offices and royal staffers. According to Tominey, however, the Queen and Prince Charles ultimately denied their request to develop their own office.
“At that point, Harry and Meghan want their own office like the Cambridges have. They wanted their own office to run out of Windsor, out of Frogmore Cottage, where they were living at the time,” Tominey said during the documentary, as per Newsweek. “And it’s at that point, the Queen and Prince Charles then sweep in and say ‘no, we will manage your affairs’ and in a way that’s the final straw because once again the Sussexes are saying ‘why can’t we have what the Cambridges are having? We should be on an equal footing.’”
This household snub came amid increasing tensions between Harry and William, according to historian Robert Lacey. In his book, Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, Lacey describes the argument that took place after the Sussexes and Cambridges’ joint communications secretary, Jason Knauf, accused Meghan of “bullying” palace staffers out of the household. Lacey claims that William sided with the palace staffer and ultimately “threw Harry out” of Kensington Palace over the dispute.
The couples’ households were formally split by March 2019, when Buckingham Palace announced that the Sussexes would be forming a private office where the Queen’s staff are based instead of forming their own household at Frogmore Cottage. Notably, their exit from Kensington Palace came just two months after Meghan reportedly told Harry she was feeling “suicidal,” as she revealed during the couple’s interview with Oprah in March 2021.
For more from historian Robert Lacey, check out his 2020 book, Battle of Brothers. In this New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, Lacey takes a close look at Harry and William’s relationship throughout the years and considers each moment that led to their eventual estrangement. From the impact of their mother Princess Diana’s tragic death and the pressures of their roles in the royal family (William, the future king vs. Harry, the spare), to the influence their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle have had on their differing paths, Battle of Brothers reveals all the “highs, lows, and discretions” of these brothers’ lives in a way “never offered before.”
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