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Prince Harry’s ‘green-eyed monster’ claims on family rivalry debunked

While the truth about Prince Harry’s complex relationship with his brother was undeniably the centrepiece of his memoir – there was a fascinating secondary plot: Prince William’s alleged ongoing tension with their father.

Spare, for the first time, exposed first-hand the intricacies of the family’s ecosystem, which was apparently regularly disrupted over issues related to public image, popularity and media exposure.

Among Harry’s most unflattering claims was one which alleged that Charles would become deeply frustrated when his work was overshadowed by less senior members of the monarchy, including his sons and their wives.

It was a theme revisited in royal author Omid Scobie’s Endgame late last year, which also quoted sources suggesting William at times considered his father “incompetent”, and painted Charles as becoming outraged by his son’s “effrontery”.

“William, or his staff, I should say, will always be quick to play up his efforts,” a source close to Charles claimed. 

Prince William’s alleged ongoing tension with their father was discussed in Prince Harry’s memoir. Samir Hussein/WireImage

“There is an almost frenzied push for William to be seen as ready for the throne, despite an entire generation coming beforehand.”

Jealousy isn’t a particularly flattering look on anyone. On the then-future King of England, and in relation to his two children, it was downright ugly.

But fast-forward 18 months, and a high-profile scene has just unfolded which either indicates Harry misunderstood the situation back then or that a monumental transformation has occurred (or both).

Far from trying to keep his heir one step behind him, the King deployed arguably his best asset, Prince William, onto the global stage for the D-Day commemorations in France.

Charles, who according to the UK Times is “adapting” his workload as he continues to undergo cancer treatment, attended an event in Normandy on Thursday before flying home, allowing William to fill in for the remainder of duties.

A friend of the King’s pointed out to the publication that the decision was made with “careful consideration” and that Charles has already done “the heavy lifting in the morning” while “his heir was there to honour veterans later in his absence”.

But the photo op alone, of the dashing heir apparent looking every inch the statesman as he took his place among world leaders, including three presidents, would surely have been unthinkable within the delicate confines of royal life as Harry knew it.

Prince Harry’s memoir “Spare” discussed the intricacies of the royal family first-hand.

In his memoir, Harry had detailed a specific incident a few years back whereby it was discovered Charles and Kate had scheduled engagements on the same day. Charles’ team initially ordered she cancel hers, but it was too late – so instead, the duke wrote, Kate was ordered not to pose with a tennis racquet as it would ruin his chances of being on the front page.

“That couldn’t be tolerated under any circumstances,” Harry said.

That’s right – picture of Kate holding a piece of sports equipment was banned for fear it would provide too big a spotlight.

And here we are now:

It’s no secret that the Prince and Princess of Wales are the most dazzling members of the ever-shrinking royal team. Kate’s absence from public life as she undergoes preventive treatment for cancer has left a gaping hole in the palace’s positive PR effort and left William shouldering a huge percentage of that responsibility.

According to the Times, royal insiders have previously spoken of the sensitivities attached to navigating William and Charles’ schedules, and the bouts of “green-eyed monster” that have erupted when the younger royals take center stage in the media.

It closely aligns with what Harry had written in his explosive memoir.

“If there was ever a green-eyed monster or a sense of rivalry between the two, that is a chapter of the past,” a friend of the royals reportedly told the TimesZak Hussein / SplashNews.com

But in a stunning twist of irony, it appears the storm brought upon the House of Windsor by the Duke of Sussex’s many revelations in the media, including that of the internal jealousies, has helped to bring the King and William closer together.

“If there was ever a green-eyed monster or a sense of rivalry between the two, that is a chapter of the past,” a friend of the royals reportedly told the Times. 

“The King sees his son as a useful ally on family matters and increasingly in discharging the duties of nation and state.”

The source also hinted that Charles’ ascension to the throne has shifted his mindset.

“When you are monarch, you’re not counting the column inches. You’re thinking about performing your role for your country, not just as King Charles but as ‘the family’.”

On William’s side, with his father still recovering from cancer, his wife undergoing treatment and his position as heir to the throne increasingly significant, he “very much wants to support” the King with “everything he is going through”.

The Times also quoted a friend of the King’s, who detailed his growing reliance on his son for consultation on “tricky family issues”, not just involving the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, but also regarding the disgraced Prince Andrew.

Seeing the pictures of his brother honored by Charles with such a significant role recently – particularly involving the military and veterans, an area of royal duties that Harry is reported to sorely miss – just weeks after his attempt to even meet up with his father was rebuffed can’t have been easy.

But with so much relationship wreckage left in the wake of Spare, perhaps he can view his inadvertent role in tightening the bond between William and Charles as a silver lining.