Prince Harry and Prince William Have Five Months to Heal Rift, Author Says

Prince Harry and Prince William have until March to heal their wounds or their damaged relationship may never recover, royal biographer Robert Lacey tells Newsweek.

The British historian wrote Battle of Brothers, published by William Collins on Thursday, charting the parallel lives and dramatic falling out of the two princes.

Now he argues Meghan Markle's experience at the hands of palace aides remains an obstacle to the royals putting past feuds behind them.

And the author believes the situation must be resolved by the end of a 12-month review of Harry and Meghan's new working relationship, due in March.

He told Newsweek: "Meghan's style, the way she swept into the palace, the way she brought her own American advisers with her, rubbed a lot of people up the wrong way.

"So there was that personal animus in those negotiations and I fear there remains to this day an obstacle to reconciliation.

"The palace establishment, the courtier establishment, remains reluctant to adapt or bend in any way to accommodate what Harry and Meghan stand for or want to pursue.

"I no longer rate highly the chances of reconciliation. I think whatever gets decided in March has pretty well got to be for the foreseeable future."

The book argues Harry and Meghan were thwarted by Queen Elizabeth II's aide Sir Edward Young who did not do enough to create a bold, ambitious role for them.

The book quotes an unnamed palace official saying: "Meghan came to perceive Young as the inflexible, bureaucratic figure who summed up what was at fault with the palace mentality, and the feeling was mutual. Young really came to dislike Meghan's style."

Prince Harry and Prince William, Royal Wedding
Prince Harry and his best man Prince William at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018, in Windsor, England. Privately the two brothers have been locked in a feud dating back to before the wedding. Jane Barlow/Getty

Harry and Meghan are halfway through a 12-month probation period, at the end of which Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Prince William will review their continued relationship with the monarchy.

Harry had to step down as Captain General of the Royal Marines when he quit senior royal duties at the beginning of the year but the post will remain open until the end of the transition period.

Talk has been mounting in the British press of Prince William taking over the job in Harry's place, which Lacey said would spell the end of their relationship.

He told Newsweek: "The Royal Marines position is in abeyance until the end of the review period.

"There have been stories that it's going to be assigned to William. Were that to be the case, that would be the end of it."

And he said the public will expect an answer on whether they have recovered from their feud when the brothers are reunited to unveil a statue of their mother at Kensington Palace in the summer.

He said: "All the years of toil and travail which these young men have been through will be on display and the world will want to know, are they reconciled or has there been some clear break?

"Before that there's the March deadline for some sort of review. Either it goes in the direction of some sort of compromise or reconciliation or there has to be some break."

The historian called on Prince William to make a public statement acknowledging the division between him and his brother similar to the one made by Harry on a tour of South Africa last autumn.

The younger prince confirmed the rift to ITV's Tom Bradby but said "the majority of stuff is created out of nothing" and added "I love him dearly."

Lacey told Newsweek: "It looks to me that the machine is moving forward, it's promoting William and Kate as the face of their royal generation to the exclusion of Harry.

"Whereas Harry, in talking about the split to Tom Bradby, said we're on different paths at the moment but I'll always be there for him and he'll always be there for me, there's been no statement from William addressing what's happened. I think he should address it publicly."