With King Charles III’s coronation coming up next week, the whole world will be watching to see what kind of reception Prince Harry gets from his father and brother Prince William back home—and judging from a new report, the world shouldn’t expect more than a cursory nod between siblings.
Prince Harry is in the midst of a case against Rupert Murdoch-owned News Group Newspapers alleging that they engaged in illegal acts like phone hacking to gather information for their stories. Earlier this week, a new witness statement from Harry revealed that part of the reason for the timing of his case is that Prince William had previously accepted a payout from the group over his own phone hacking claims, a settlement that included a stipulation about further legal action and thus forced Harry to delay his own lawsuit. According to a friend of the royals who spoke to The Daily Beast, William is absolutely furious that Harry has made this settlement public, and considers it a declaration of sorts that their relationship is over.
“William will never trust Harry again. How could he?” the source reported to The Daily Beast. “The truth is William absolutely hates Harry now and will never forgive him for the damage he has done to the family. The brothers were so close when they were younger that it is just incredible to those of us who knew them back then that they have reached a stage where Harry is revealing his brother’s confidential legal settlements.”
Prince William, Prince Harry
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“Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” the source added. “This is scorched earth stuff from Harry. By revealing these secrets, he is burning everything to the ground. He is making it very clear that he considers his relationship with William over.”
In the court documents revealed this week, Harry wrote the following: “My brother appeared to know an awful lot more than I did on the subject of phone hacking although he did not tell me if that was the case. However, NGN still settled his claim for a huge sum of money in 2020 without subjecting him to a similar strike out application, without any of the public being told, and seemingly with some favorable deal in return for him going ‘quietly’ so to speak.”
It bears mention that Harry didn’t submit these details as extraneous information: News Group Newspapers is trying to argue that it’s too late for Harry to bring his case against them, and Harry is offering an explanation for why his lawsuit didn’t come sooner. William’s settlement plays a big role in that. Nonetheless, the Daily Beast reports that “many” of William’s friends believe Harry made the settlement public “out of spite”—and according to their first source, William very much feels that way too.
All of this is building up to a very tense coronation weekend: though if there’s one thing royals are good at, it’s putting on a stiff upper lip when cameras are watching. The source may be correct about William’s current feelings toward his brother, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see any actual animosity play out.
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