With rumors rife about Queen Elizabeth II retiring as she turns 95, pressure mounts on princes William and Harry and their respective spouses to mend fences to put up a united family front.
In 2011, when Prince William and Kate Middleton said, 'I do', Prince Harry was there, grinning ear to ear. Soon, the media was filled with the pictures showcasing the bond between the newlyweds and Harry. When Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle in 2018, fans expected her happy face to be added to the group.
However, Meghan being a popular and outgoing American Hollywood celebrity and Kate being a reserved heiress from England, the two were complete personalities with different ideologies.
High drama before the wedding
Even before Markle officially became a part of the royal family, the feud had started between her and Kate. It was reported that during dress fittings for Princess Charlotte, Kate was reduced to tears after Markle made some comments.
It was also believed that Kate lambasted Meghan after she spoke rudely with Kate's staff at the royal household.
However, things changed for the better between the two after the birth of Prince Archie Harrison, son of Meghan and Harry. A royal insider said: "Kate was a great source of support to Meghan in the days leading up to Archie's birth. Despite reports of a rift, they are family and have a really lovely friendship... They talk and text regularly, they have more in common, and Kate has wanted to make sure Meghan has felt welcome into the family."
Rift between the brothers
With one brother being the future king and other bound to lead the life of a common prince, they are bound to have hiccups in their relationship.
After the death of their mother Princess Diana, William and Harry grew very close. During the growing up period, owing to difference in ideologies and social standing, the brothers started growing apart.
Commenting on the brothers' relationship, royal historian Robert Lacey said: "After the death of their mother, Princess Diana, in 1997, the two brothers were thrown together by the tragedy of their childhood. But it's inevitable, as they grow up and develop different personalities, that synchronicity won't apply anymore."
No royal support for Prince Harry
In what appeared to be a complete shock for the royal family, during their official tour of South Africa, Prince Harry announced that he would be filing legal charges against a media group for their relentless "bullying" behavior.
In a statement issued by the Duke of Sussex in October, he wrote: "As a couple, we believe in media freedom and objective, truthful reporting. We regard it as a cornerstone of democracy and in the current state of the world – on every level – we have never needed responsible media more."
"Unfortunately, my wife has become one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press that wages campaigns against individuals with no thought to the consequences – a ruthless campaign that has escalated over the past year, throughout her pregnancy and while raising our newborn son," he continued.
"It is for this reason we are taking legal action, a process that has been many months in the making. The positive coverage of the past week from these same publications exposes the double standards of this specific press pack that has vilified her almost daily for the past nine months; they have been able to create lie after lie at her expense simply because she has not been visible while on maternity leave. She is the same woman she was a year ago on our wedding day, just as she is the same woman you've seen on this Africa tour," said Harry.
However, royal experts were quick to point out that the Prince got no support from his family. In a tweet, royal reporter Richard Palmer wrote: "Nobody in the Royal Family or the Royal Household is supporting Harry and Meghan at the moment."
"Even the couple's aides seem embarrassed by their actions. William, who dropped his brother like a ton of hot bricks earlier this year, and Charles have distanced themselves," he went on to add.
Harry and Meghan are currently on a break
Both Harry and Meghan are currently in America on a six-week break from their royal duties. They are spending time with Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland, in California. The couple would be missing the family's annual Christmas celebrations at Sandringham, an event organised by the Queen herself.