Prince Harry and Prince William's worsening relationship has been the focus of media attention for a long time.
In a way, Prince Harry was able to fulfill one of Princess Diana's last wishes. She had wanted to step away from public life and had spoken about it in 1993 when she and Prince Charles were going through a trial separation. Her decision was also because of the "overwhelming" attention from the media.
Diana had said that she knew she would be of interest to the media, "but I was not aware of how overwhelming that attention would become nor the extent to which it would affect both my public duties and my personal life in a manner that's been hard to bear," she was quoted as saying by The Chicago Tribune. "At the end of this year when I've completed my diary of official engagements I will be reducing the extent of the public life I've led so far," Diana said in 1993.
Prince Harry has been able to do that by moving to a different country with his wife and child. Staying away from the UK has given him some control over what gets written about him and his family. However, there are some mistakes his mother made that he seems to be repeating.
A journalist close to Harry and Meghan revealed how the prince is "heartbroken by the situation with his family." "The situation with the family clearly isn’t ideal and it has been a very difficult year for them all. But are [Harry and Meghan] unhappy out there? No, I don’t think that’s right, I think they are pretty happy actually, but I think they wrestle with their position in life, I think they all do. I think William does too; I don’t think he finds it easy," said Tom Bradby, according to News.com.au.
The latest comments are similar to the 1990s when Diana and Charles were fighting with each other and invited the media into the conflict. One of the incidents that came into the light was from 1991, before Diana's 30th birthday. Charles was reportedly not going to spend the day with her but his aides told the media that while he had wanted to throw her a party, she refused. She didn't want to be with his "stuffy old friends." This "was the first time that the two armies came truly into the open," Diana’s longtime private secretary Patrick Jephson later wrote.
It was in 1991 that Diana started working with Andrew Morton on the biography (Diana: Her True Story) to reveal the secrets of their marriage. After the release of the book, respected royal journalist Penny Junor wrote that Diana’s behavior had been "irrational, unreasonable and hysterical." This led the princess to allegedly ask her husband, "Why don’t you save yourself a phone call and ring the papers direct?"
Later, Charles authorized journalist Jonathan Dimbleby to write his biography, which came out in 1994. He also admitted publicly on TV that he had been unfaithful to Diana, and that he had married her because of pressure from his father, Prince Philip.
The Princess of Wales also didn't hold anything back when she went to BBC's Martin Bashir and revealed, "There were three of us in the marriage so it got a bit crowded."
Now, even with Harry and William, a similar battle seems to be raging in the media. "Sources" associated with both brothers have been revealing details about their relationship. One of William's sources had reportedly told a UK media house that the elder prince was "furious" after Harry's interview with Bradby, where he castigated his family.
A day later, a "source close to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex" told a news outlet that the duo had "single-handedly modernized the monarchy" and that "the briefings by so-called ‘palace insiders and friends’ are classic examples of anti-Prince Harry and Meghan hysteria."
The reports from both sides had become so vicious that the brothers had to issue a joint statement eventually dispelling rumors that there was bad blood between them. "Despite clear denials, a false story ran in a UK newspaper today speculating about the relationship between The Duke of Sussex & The Duke of Cambridge," said the respective spokespeople for the brothers. "For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful," it was said, as per Town & Country.
However, since this statement in January 2020, Prince Harry has established his own enterprise in the US and stopped being financially dependent on the royal family. It is yet to be seen whether this decision will cause a further rift between him and his family.