Prince Harry subject to ‘brutal’ royal rule that likely had a hand in Prince William rift | Royal | News

The seeds for the ongoing feud between royal brothers and were planted when they were young children thanks to a “brutal” role endured by Harry, an expert has claimed.

The pair were once extremely close, with their late mother Princess Diana reportedly determined that Harry would be a “wingman” for his older brother the future King, however over the past few years they have become more and more distant.

Psychotherapist Helen Villiers, who specialises in family relationships, told how William being treated more favourably by the institution and the media due to his status as heir would have been difficult for Harry to endure.

She explained: “If we look at William and Harry, growing up as children, William was heir to the throne, the firstborn boy and therefore, he naturally has had much more media attention priority.

“And what is very common in aristocracy and titled families is to aim for a second born boy so that you have the ‘spare’ as Harry’s book was called, because that’s what is known as ‘the heir and the spare’ because the second is there to take it up if the first dies.

This in itself is really brutal because you only get that coveted position, that one that where you would be valued as highly as your sibling, if you lose the sibling. How confusing and conflicting that must be for a child regardless of what that position might be.”

Even if Prince Charles and Diana treated the two boys in exactly the same way, it would not have made much difference to Harry as the “very nature of the family system” prioritises William.

The Duke of Sussex’s memoir Spare, published in January 2023, told his side of the story of growing up in the shadow of William, who he described as his “beloved brother” and “arch nemesis”.

“‘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.’

“‘No, only you’ll feel better if I hit you. Please…just leave.'”

While Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle has been pinpointed as the reason for the breakdown in the brothers’ relationship, in Spare it seems they had a rivalry stretching as far back as their schooldays.

The Duke wrote: “For the last two years, [William] explained, Eton had been his sanctuary. No kid brother tagging along, pestering him with questions, pushing up on his social circle.

“He was forging his own life, and he wasn’t willing to give that up…For Willy it was pure agony to wear the same blazer, the same tight shorts, as me. And now, to attend the same school, was pure murder. I told him not to worry. ‘I’ll forget I ever knew you.'”

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