Robert Lacey, author of Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, details the rift between the brothers over the past few years.
A complaint was lodged against the Duchess of Sussex in 2018 by the couple’s then communications secretary, Jason Knauf, who alleged she drove two personal assistants out and undermined the confidence of a third.
In March, Buckingham Palace hired an external law firm to conduct an independent inquiry into the bullying claims. According to a report in The Times, the Palace was determined that the inquiry should “not be played out in public” and does not have a deadline.
Meghan’s spokesperson said in response to the allegations: “The duchess is saddened by this latest attack on her character, particularly as someone who has been the target of bullying herself and is deeply committed to supporting those who have experienced pain and trauma.”
According to Lacey, William rang his younger brother immediately after hearing of the bullying allegations, to which Harry “flared up in furious defence of his wife”.
The Duke of Cambridge then went to speak to Harry in person, which led to a “fierce and bitter” confrontation, the author writes. William also allegedly felt that Meghan was “stealing his beloved brother away from him”.
On the other hand, Lacey writes that Harry was “equally furious that William should give credence” to the claims of bullying made against Meghan and accused a member of the Royal Family of “concepts that were ‘racist’”.
Though it was assumed that Harry was the brother who split the joint Kensington Palace household due to his departure to set up a new home with Meghan in Windsor, Lacey said it was William who sought separation from the Sussexes.
In the Sussex’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, Harry said William and their father, Prince Charles, were “trapped” in the Royal Family. Harry said if it hadn’t been for Meghan, he “wouldn’t have been able to” step back from his royal duties.
He said: “I was trapped but I didn’t know I was trapped. My father and my brother – they are trapped. They don’t get to leave and I have huge compassion for that.”
The princes spoke for the first time since the interview on 16 March, according to CBS News presenter Gayle King, but talks were “unproductive”. A month after that, the brothers were seen chatting during the funeral of Prince Philip, which Harry returned to England to attend.