‘I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more,’ prince says
The Duke of Cambridge has expressed his sadness over tensions with his brother before Monday’s crisis summit at Sandringham called by the Queen to decide the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The brothers are now “separate entities” but Prince William hopes matters can be resolved so the royal family can once more play as “a team”, according to reports.
William told a friend: “I’ve put my arm around my brother all our lives and I can’t do that any more; we’re separate entities,” the Sunday Times reported.
William continued: “I’m sad about that. All we can do, and all I can do, is try and support them and hope that the time comes when we’re all singing from the same page. I want everyone to play on the same team.”
The comments come as the Queen, Prince of Wales, William and Harry prepare to meet face-to-face for the first time since the Sussexes’ bombshell statement on Wednesday.
In it Harry and Meghan said they intended to “step back” from being frontline royals, split their time between the UK and North America, and work towards becoming “financially independent”.
While senior royals have been talking on the phone since the crisis broke, the Queen has been in Norfolk, Charles has been at Birkhall in Scotland, William at Kensington Palace, and Harry at Windsor.
Monday’s meeting will be an opportunity for them to discuss proposals drawn up after a series of consultations between palace officials and representatives of the UK and Canadian governments over how Meghan and Harry can achieve their aim of carving out new “progressive” roles as hybrid royals.
It is understood Meghan, who is in Canada, is likely to take part take part via conference calling.
A royal source said the meeting was to “talk things through”. The proposals had been drawn up following “a series of meetings and consultations across the last few days”.
“There are a range of possibilities for the family to review, which take into account the thinking the Sussexes outlined earlier in the week,” the source added.
Making changes to the working life and role in the monarchy of the couple “required complex and thoughtful discussions”, the source said.
“Next steps will be agreed at the meeting,” the source added. It remained the Queen’s wish that it be resolved “at pace”, in days not weeks. But there was “genuine agreement and understanding that any decision will take time to be implemented”, the source added.
William’s reported comments on the growing distance between the brothers reflects those made by Harry in an ITV documentary in November. In it, Harry told ITV’s Tom Bradby the brothers were on “different paths” . Bradby, who is considered a friend of the Sussexes, has since spoken of a “toxic” relationship between the couple and the rest of the family, and said that they feel “driven out”.
The Queen, Charles and William want a workable plan as soon as possible to contain the crisis and prevent it festering.
Harry and Meghan also hope talks can be concluded “sooner rather than later” , according to a source. “It’s in everyone’s interest this can be figured out, and figured out quickly, but not at the expense of the outcome,” the source said.