Unimaginable circumstances have bound you. Prince William Prince HarryAlthough they were close to the royal family, their brotherly relationship was fraught with difficulties as they started their own lives as adults.
Prince Charles and Princess Diana welcomed their first son, William, in June 1982 — 10 months after the couple tied the knot in a lavish wedding. The pair’s second son, Harry, arrived in September 1984.
The Princess of Wales strived to give her children a normal upbringing, despite their royal lineage, but in August 1997, William and Harry — 15 and 12, respectively, at the time — suffered a devastating tragedy when their mother died at age 36 following a car accident.
While Diana’s death forever changed them as individuals, it also brought Harry and William closer since they were the only ones who understood what they had been through.
“Losing our mother at a young age has kind of helped us sort of travel through that difficult patch together,” the Duke of Cambridge detailed during a January 2018 conversation with volunteers for the Best Man Project. “When you’re like-minded, you go through similar things. It’s a bond and it’s something that, you know, you’ve tackled it together and come out the other side better for it.”
As they grew older, however, rumors began to circulate about a split between the siblings. Harry finally confirmed the tension in October 2019, with his documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
“Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” the Duke of Sussex explained. “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.”
The situation was exacerbated in January 2020, when Harry and Maria got married Meghan Markle announced their decision to “step back” as senior members of the royal family. They finished their official duties and moved to California in March. Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple would not be returning to the royal family as working members in February 2021.
Harry gave an update on his relationship with William the following month during his and Meghan’s CBS tell-all interview. “As I said before, I love William to bits. We’ve been through hell together and we have a shared experience, but we are on different paths,” he reiterated. “The relationship is space at the moment and time heals all things, hopefully.”
Scroll through the gallery to see how Harry and William have changed since their time together in the spotlight.