"If they were in a room on their own, they would say they miss each other," a royal insider shared.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 24, 2022. It has since been updated.
Prince William was 15 and Prince Harry was 12 when they lost their mother, Princess Diana, in a car crash. Since then, the two have been close, but in recent times, their bond has faltered, and the two of them are now farther away from each other than they would have liked.
While there seems to be no going back to the relationship the two brothers once shared, it has been reported that Prince William is now "mourning" the loss of his bond with his sibling. The Duke of Cambridge feels sad about losing the only person, other than Kate Middleton, who shared the same sentiments when it came to their royal life, according to OK! magazine.
"He truly loves Harry and feels he has lost the only person, aside from his wife, who understood this strange life of theirs," a source said adding, "But he believes there are things you just don't do. And Harry has 100 percent crossed that line."
Prince William strongly believes that Prince Harry "disrespected" his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and the royal family. Meanwhile, another insider said that the Duke of Sussex's relationship with his brother is at "rock bottom."
The father-of-three is understood to be "deeply upset" about his feud with his brother. He feels "let down" but he has learned to "move on."
"Broadly speaking, they have always been very different characters but very close because of their situation—the fact that [their parents'] marriage was unhappy. They relied upon each other," Penny Junor, who has written two biographies of the brothers, told PEOPLE.
They had also, at a young age, realized that their future was already planned out for them. "They worked it out while they were schoolboys," says Andrew Morton, who wrote the 1992 biography Diana: Her True Story. "William famously said, 'When I grow up, I want to be a policeman and look after Mummy.' And Harry, with a note of triumph in his voice, said, 'No, you've got to be King.' It symbolized the difference between them."
Per Express, rumors about the brothers' strained relationship began in 2018, around Christmas time. Prince Harry reportedly told his elder brother that the family was not doing enough to make Meghan Markle, Harry's wife, feel included.
Apparently, William retaliated by telling Harry to take his romance with Markle a bit slower, and that's when things got really bad. After the wedding, there was a rumor that Middleton and Markle had an argument that left the latter in tears. Overall, there was a lot of confusion.
"That intensifies the emotion," says royal historian Robert Lacey. "I spent a long time analyzing these accusations. Clearly, human emotion and feelings that had once been so strong went sour, creating bitterness that is going to take a long time to overcome."
Eventually, Harry and Markle announced their departure to the USA.
However, people who are close to the couple strongly believe that Harry would never have left the U.K. if he had not met Meghan. "But he wasn't happy in his life before," says a family friend. "She has brought him happiness, so he is determined to pursue his life alongside her. He's so full of character and full of love as well."
While there seems very little hope for the brothers to reconcile, sources who know both brothers are still holding on to hope that there might be a reconciliation. "If they were in a room on their own, they would say they miss each other," a royal insider shared.
The fact that they are both fathers, with five kids between them, gives a sliver of hope that the children may be the reason why the brothers forgive and forget.
"There's the old cliché that time heals [all wounds], and the Queen herself is a big believer in that, stemming from her religious faith," adds Lacey. "I would say the prospects for the future are positive."
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Yui Mok - WPA Pool