“Seeds of reconciliation have been planted between William and Harry but there’s a long rocky path ahead”
When Prince Harry and the Prince of Wales appeared together at Windsor Castle last week to great well-wishers, it was the clearest sign yet that a compromise might be on the horizon for the warring brothers.
On the day, the pair, who arrived with their wives, Kate, Princess of Wales and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, exchanged a few friendly looking words before talking to the crowds and accepting their words of condolence about their grandmother's death. But royal expert Jennie Bond warns that though the "seeds of reconciliation" have been planted, there is still a "rocky road ahead."
"If there could be one positive legacy from the death of the Queen, it would be that the seeds of reconciliation between Harry and William have been planted," she says.
Jennie believes their shared grief is the factor that has drawn them together. "They have been thrown together in this period of grief. They are united in grieving and honouring their grandmother and perhaps there will be an opportunity for them to get over their differences and to begin the healing process."
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Once known as the Fab Four, William and Kate, both 40, and Harry, 38 and Meghan, 41, fell out when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as senior royals and relocated to the US.
The pair then levelled a series of bombshell accusations at the Royal Family during an interview with US chat show host Oprah Winfrey. Meghan has subsequently recorded episodes of her podcast Archetypes and done another interview with US publication The Cut in which she has also spoken about her time as a senior working royal in a negative light which has driven a further wedge between the Sussexes and the Wales'.
It is King Charles III who is thought to have demanded that the quartet put their differences aside and put on a united show of solidarity for the Queen. But Jennie warns that there is still a "rocky road ahead" with the particularly tough obstacle of Prince Harry's forthcoming book to navigate.
"Harry's memoir does hang like a sword of Damocles and until that comes out and we know what has been said, nothing can be normal. Presumably it can't be unsaid now either, presumably it's at the publishers and it can't be altered, even if he wanted to," Jennie says.
Rumours have been swirling that publication of the book, which was expected on shelves in time for Christmas, will now be delayed into 2023 as a mark of respect for the late Queen, although this has not been confirmed.
Jennie also warns that "mistrust" still surrounds Harry's wife, former Suits actress Meghan Markle. In her recent interview in The Cut, Meghan asserted that now she is no longer a working royal, she can speak freely about her time in The Firm. "There's still suspicion, there's still mistrust," Jennie says of Meghan.
But Jennie ends on a hopeful note that hopefully the "healing process" between the formally inseparable brothers has begun even though it won't be "plain sailing".
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