During Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s joint interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Duke of Sussex described his relationship with Prince William as “space”
Despite the tension between the two brothers, some of which stemmed from Meghan Markle and Harry’s response to Queen Elizabeth amid their exit from their royal roles, William hopes that their “relationship will heal in time,” according to a report from The Sunday Times.
“Once he got over the anger of how things happened, he was left with the absence of his brother,” a source told the outlet. “They shared everything about their lives, an office, a foundation, meetings together most days and there was a lot of fun along the way. He’ll miss it forever.”
Another friend told the outlet that while William, 38, is still “very upset by what’s happened,” he’s “absolutely intent that he and Harry’s relationship will heal in time.”
According to the report, William was the most “upset” by a statement Harry and Meghan released last year, as they prepared to step down as senior members of the Royal family.
While outlining their plans to launch a non-profit organization following their exit, the couple released a statement which in part addressed the rules surrounding the use of the word “royal.’ “
“While there is not any jurisdiction by The Monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘Royal’ overseas, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex do not intend to use ‘Sussex Royal’ or any iteration of the word ‘Royal,’ ” the message read.
A source close to the Duke of Cambridge told The Sunday Times, “That was it for William, he felt they’d blindsided the Queen in such an insulting and disrespectful way.”
“I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together,” Harry, 36, explained. “But we are on different paths.”
Although he described his relationship with his older sibling at the moment as “space,” Harry reiterated that he “will always be there” for William.
While stepping out for the first time since the interview aired, William told reporters that he hadn’t “spoken to” his brother about the sit-down yet, “but I will do.”
Since then, both William and their father have been in contact with Harry.
“Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too,” Gayle King, who is friends with Oprah and the Duchess of Sussex, revealed on CBS This Morning last Tuesday. “The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation.”
Although William and his brother are no longer as close as they once were, his relationship with father Prince Charles has deepened.
“As the years passed there were strains imposed by the system — money, work, competition, Diana,” one friend told The Sunday Times. “Part of William’s evolution is that as he has become closer to his father, he sees their similarities.”
“At William’s wedding there was a gag in one of the speeches that he was more like his father than he’d ever admit, which made a lot of us laugh. As their respective destinies get closer, it weighs more heavily on them and strengthens the bond,” the friend added. “The rift with Harry has also brought them closer.”
Sources recently told PEOPLE that the relationship between Charles and his sons has been complex for years.
In addition to his painful divorce from Princess Diana and consequent marriage to Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, with who he had an affair during his relationship with Diana, Charles controls the money.
“It’s not a straightforward father-son relationship,” the palace source added. “He is their father and their boss, and they are beholden to him to fund their offices and lives.”