Princes William and Harry didn’t speak for two months during the fallout from Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back as senior Royal Family members, according to a royal biographer.
Omid Scobie, one of the authors of Finding Freedom, the biography of Prince Harry and Meghan, said the two brothers did not speak from the time of the Sandringham Summit, in January, until the Commonwealth Day service.
The Commonwealth Day service, which was Harry and Meghan’s last royal engagement, was the setting for an awkward reunion of the couple with the rest of the Royal Family, and all eyes were particularly on how they’d be greeted by Prince William and Kate.
The two couples entered Westminster Abbey separately, and did not speak for long before the service. There are claims Kate avoided eye contact with Meghan.
Scobie, speaking on The Royal Beat on True Royalty TV, said: “We saw a point where the Cambridges supported them what ever - if they wanted to leave, they wanted to leave. I don’t think there was much attempt to make them stay.
“Where it really went wrong for Harry and Meghan and the Cambridges was that decision to go public with the road map to their new working model – the statements that weren’t discussed internally.
“That caused the most amount of hurt to William, because he wears two hats.
“He’s not just the brother, he’s also future king and he felt that damaged the reputation of the family, that it puts family business in the public domain.
“There was a lot of hurt there, that continues to this day.
“It’s why we saw such an awkward moment at that Commonwealth service. The brothers had not spoken since around the time of the Sandringham Summit.
“They hadn’t seen each other. That’s going to take some time to heal.”
Kensington Palace declined to comment.
A source close to the Sussexes told PA: “The family are in contact with each other – a suggestion that they’re not talking is untrue.”
Harry and Meghan announced they planned to step back from their royal duties in January, soon after returning from a six-week break in Canada over Christmas.
The Commonwealth Day service, on 8 March, was the last time they were seen with the Royal Family at an engagement, and Meghan went straight back to Canada when it finished.
It’s understood Harry remained in the UK for a few days before he was reunited with Meghan and their son, Archie.
Harry, 35, and Meghan, 39, confirmed they have bought their first family home in California last week and Meghan made her first appearance from there as she spoke at a virtual summit on Friday.
Interviewing Emily Ramshaw, the founder of The 19th* news agency, she confessed to feeling devastated when she saw the state of the US as she and Harry set up life there.
The Duchess of Sussex said: “It was so sad to see where our country was in that moment and if there’s any silver lining in that, I would say that in the weeks that were happening after the murder of George Floyd, in the peaceful protests you were seeing, in the voices that were coming out, in the way that people were actually owning their role and acknowledging their role that they played, either actively or passively, in the discrimination of other people, specifically of the black community.”
She added “to see the changes that are being made right now, it’s something that I look forward to being a part of and using my voice in a way I haven’t been able to of late”.
Finding Freedom was released last week and charts the couple’s lives from their first meeting to marriage and then stepping back as senior royals.
The authors, Scobie and fellow royal correspondent Carolyn Durand, claim they have spoken to more than 100 sources, and said in an author’s note that they had also spoken to Harry and Meghan on occasion.
However the couple have been clear that they were not interviewed for the book, and Scobie tweeted: “There’s a huge difference between exchanging a few words with a member of the Royal Family on an official engagement or tour to actually interviewing them”.