Prince William hopes to repair rift with Prince Harry now work ties have been severed

Victoria Ward
·4-min read
Prince William and Prince Harry hope to repair rift - TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP
Prince William and Prince Harry hope to repair rift - TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP

The Duke of Cambridge is keen to focus on "purely family matters" with the Duke of Sussex, in order to repair their bond after work ties were finally severed, palace sources have said.

It is hoped that after months of bitter ruminations over the Sussexes’ decision to quit royal life, the brothers will be in a position to heal their rift by focusing solely on personal links.

While there remains concern at Buckingham Palace about the Sussexes’ forthcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey, sources suggested that as long as the couple refrain from making any personal attacks, the damage caused in recent years could be fixed.

Watch: Princess Diana would want William and Harry to fix rift on TV, expert says

According to one source: "There is hope that they can all move forward now these loose ends have been tied up once and for all.

"The (one year) review had been hanging over both sides for some time but now it has finally been resolved, it allows all parties to work on purely family matters."

While the two brothers have remained in touch throughout the last year, conversations have been overshadowed by “Megxit” and the complexities of the Sussexes’ “half-in, half-out” roles.

Last week’s Buckingham Palace statement, confirming that the couple would not be returning to the royal fold, brought an end to those discussions, allowing both sides to move on.

Aides are still said to be concerned that the Duchess may "unleash" on her royal in-laws, during their no-holds-barred 90-minute Winfrey special, to be broadcast on US network CBS on March 7.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured with Prince William, will not return as working members of the Royal Family - Francis Dias/NEWSPIX
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, pictured with Prince William, will not return as working members of the Royal Family - Francis Dias/NEWSPIX

Speculation is rife that Prince William could endure the most criticism. Behind palace gates, it is thought the Duchess "would not be foolish enough" to take aim at either the Queen or the Duchess of Cambridge but may reference the tensions that have built up between her husband and his elder brother in recent years.

The couple are understood to have recorded the interview over two-days last week at their home in California.

A source close to the Sussexes insisted that they would never say anything to disrespect the Queen or cause further animosity and that any suggestion to the contrary was “just ridiculous.”

“They have done and said nothing over the last year to indicate that they would be issuing any kind of personal attack on members of the Royal Family,” one said.

The source agreed that now loose ends over the couple’s decision to seek an independent life had been tied up, there was hope that personal relationships could be repaired.

“There is a big difference between the family firm - family business - and the family,” they said.

On Sunday, it was reported that the Duke of Cambridge felt "really sad and genuinely shocked" by his brother's behaviour towards the Queen in recent weeks.

Watch: Could Meghan Markle become the President of the United States of America?

He was said to believe the Sussexes had been "insulting and disrespectful" to Her Majesty and was "very upset by what has happened".

Aides and other family members were shocked by the tone of the couple’s riposte to the Queen's confirmation that they would not be able to combine an independent life with "the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service".

The Sussexes’ declared that they would offer "continued support to the organisations they have represented regardless of official role,” adding: “We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."

One aide was quoted as saying of the Duke: "Once he got over the anger of how things happened, he was left with the absence of his brother.

“They had 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."

Meanwhile, Kensington Palace confirmed on Sunday that Jean-Christophe Gray, David Cameron’s former spokesman, had been appointed as the Duke’s private secretary.

Mr Gray previously worked in the Government’s Treasury department, leaving his position as head of general expenditure policy in 2012 to join the communications team at Downing Street, becoming then-prime minister Mr Cameron’s official spokesman.

The Duke of Edinburgh remained under observation at King Edward VII hospital in London yesterday, after being admitted on Tuesday evening. The Prince of Wales visited on Saturday to update him on developments concerning the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.