Prince Harry Says This Was the Moment He Knew He’d Lost Brother Prince William ‘Forever’

"I recall thinking: Goodbye"

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The “royal rift” between Prince Harry and Prince William can be traced back for years, but the brothers’ deteriorating relationship became more public after the Duke of Sussex relinquished his royal title and stepped down as a senior member of the British royal family in January 2020. But when exactly did the 39-year-old spare notice a definitive change in their dynamic? 

In an excerpt taken from Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir, Spare, the father of two detailed the moment he believed that he lost his brother (at least as he knew him up until that point) “forever.” In a section of the book, the Duke of Sussex referred to Prince William marrying his now-wife, Kate Middleton, as a “final farewell.”

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“The brother I’d escorted into Westminster Abbey that morning was gone—forever,” Prince Harry wrote in the book. “Who could deny it? He’d never again be first and foremost Willy. We’d never again ride together across the Lesotho countryside with capes blowing behind us. We’d never again share a horsey-smelling cottage while learning to fly. Who shall separate us? Life, that’s who.”

The duke continued, “And I recall Willy walking her back up the aisle, and as they disappeared through the door, into the carriage that would convey them to Buckingham Palace, into the eternal partnership they'd pledged, I recall thinking: Goodbye.”

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Though the brothers have grown quite distant over the years, Prince Harry has expressed his desire to repair his relationship with his older brother. While promoting Spare, Prince Harry sat down for an exclusive interview with ITV network in January 2023. At one point during the chat, the spare opened up about wanting to make amends with Prince William and his father, King Charles

“I want a family, not an institution,” he told reporter Tom Bradby. “I would like to get my father back. I would like to have my brother back.”

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Assistant Editor, News And Entertainment

Karelle McKay is the Assistant Editor of News and Entertainment at PureWow. Before she started writing about all things pop culture, she was a literal couch potato who loved...