Prince Harry and William tensions began before Meghan Markle, experts claim

Prince William says he and Harry are 'brothers not lovers' in 2009

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The Duke of Sussex and the Duke of Cambridge have been at the centre of a rift in recent years. But royal commentators have claimed tensions between the brothers date back to before Harry’s romance with Meghan.

Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary, Princes At War, Simon Vigar said Harry and William fell out when they were younger when the heir to the throne used his younger sibling as a “decoy” at parties.

Mr Vigar said: “Harry has obviously got into some scrapes which have landed him on the front pages of the newspapers but at plenty of those parties, particularly the teenage parties, William was there, Harry served as a really useful decoy.”

Royal author Katie Nicholl added: “That was the first time the brothers really fell out because Harry resented the fact that he had taken all the blame but of course William was the heir, Harry took the flack and Harry was very cross about that.

“He refused to speak to his brother or forgive him for some time.”

Harry addressed rumours of a rift with William in an ITV documentary filmed during his and Meghan’s 2019 Africa tour.

He said: “Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens.

“But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers.

“We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and as I know he’ll always be there for me.

“We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we’re so busy, but I love him dearly.

“The majority of this stuff is created out of nothing, but as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days.”

Harry also laid bare his rift with Willliam during his and Meghan’s Oprah Winfrey interview in March.

He said: “The relationship is ‘space’ at the moment. And time heals all things, hopefully.”

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The brothers were reunited for the first time since Megxit for Prince Philip’s funeral in April.

And they came together once again in July for the unveiling of a Princess Diana statue at Kensington Palace.

Speaking at the time, royal author Penny Junor said Harry and William put on a “very good show”.

Ms Junor said: “I think the brothers put on a very, very good show.

“I was expecting to see some sort of tight lips and some jaw muscles which we saw at the Commonwealth service in Westminster Abbey before Harry and Meghan left.

“They seemed to be reasonably relaxed with one another.

“They weren’t arms around each other, it wasn’t very touchy and there wasn’t, perhaps, the usual banter of times gone by.

“But had you not known there was a serious problem between the two of them, you wouldn’t necessarily have picked it up.”

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