Prince William’s ’embarrassment’ at Harry’s show of love

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Prince Harry’s memoir reveals not just moments of tension between him and his brother William, but also moments of love between the siblings. In one key moment, the Duke of Sussex describes playfights with the children of King Charles’ friends in which he would “save” his brother, who would respond with “embarrassment”.

The dad-of-two recalled one of their innocent playfights from childhood – although even then, the Duke indicated the brothers’ competitiveness starting from a young age. Games such as Hide and Seek and Capture the Flag would often be played by the boys and the children of Hugh and Emilie, friends of King Charles who lived in Norfolk.

However, the games would always end in a “massive scrap, and whatever the scrap, there were no winners because there were no rules”.

Describing the rough-and-tumble of these outdoor games, Harry wrote: “Hair-pulling, eye-gouging, arm-twisting, sleeper holds, all was fair in love and war and at Hugh and Emilie’s country house.”

He added: “As the youngest and smallest I always took the brunt. But I also did the most escalating, the most asking for it, so I deserved everything I got. Black eye, violet welt, puffed lip, I didn’t mind. On the contrary. Maybe I wanted to look tough.”

But the brotherly love emerged when, Harry described, the other boys would often “turn and set upon Willy”. He wrote that their aggression would leave Prince William “crying out for help.”

Explaining how they would usually split into teams, Harry wrote: “Sometimes I was fighting alongside Willy, sometimes against. No matter the alliances, though, it often happened that one or two of Hugh and Emilie’s boys would turn and set upon Willy.

“I’d hear him crying out for help and down would come the red mist, like a blood vessel bursting behind my eyes. I’d lose all control, all ability to focus on anything but family, country, tribe, and hurl myself at someone, everyone.”

Harry said that his efforts would be enough to extricate William, long enough for the future Prince of Wales to “check his injuries, wipe his nose, then jump straight back in.”

He added: “I don’t know how effective or skilled a fighter I was. But I always succeeded in providing enough diversion for Willy to get away.”

It was after these scraps that Harry felt such love for his brother – although felt that William’s pride meant it wasn’t reciprocated in the same way.

He said: “When the scrap finally ended for good, when we hobbled away together, I always felt such love for him, and I sensed love in return, but also some embarrassment. I was half Willy’s size, half his weight. I was the younger brother: he was supposed to save me, not the other way around.”

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However, despite these claims of love, William is reportedly “devastated” by the claims made by the Duke in his memoir, in which he also claims “Willy” physically assaulted him and frequently pits his wife Kate against the Duchess of Sussex.

During Good Morning Britain on Monday, The Sunday Times’ Royal Editor, Roya Nikkhah said: “[William] is devastated. The quote I used yesterday was ‘he’s burning inside’. That is how he’s feeling. He’s chosen not to go toe-to-toe with his brother and not retaliate, it’s not what he does.”

She added: “He’s devastated that so much personal stuff has come out, particularly given my understanding of what he knows about his brother, his experiences with his brother, how he looked after him. But I think that he feels very strongly that it’s just not right to come out and go ‘No, this didn’t happen, that happened in a different way’. That’s not how he rolls.”

Harry indicated in interviews surrounding the release of Spare that he wanted reconciliation with his family – but said the “ball is in their court.”

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