Relations between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Royal Family have become increasingly strained in recent months after the couple announced they were standing down from senior duties. Their wish was to live a “financially independent life” away from the Royal Family, in order to try and raise their young son Archie in a more normal manner. Claims of rifts between the Sussexes and Prince William and Kate Middleton have continually plagued the once heralded foursome, who at one stage appeared to be driving the Royal Family into the 21st century.
But the fallout of Harry and Meghan was highlighted extensively as the couple toured South Africa last year with Archie, months before they made their bombshell announcement.
Their trip was documented in the ITV programme ‘Harry and Meghan: An African Journey’, and saw the couple give extensive interviews to the show’s host Tom Bradby.
In it, they divulged the strains their position in the Royal Family had given them, with Harry admitting he had “good days and bad days” and that he and his once close brother were “on different paths”.
The piece saw an outpouring of support for the couple, and also sparked a fierce debate about what their role within the Royal Family should be.
According to MailOnline at the time, a royal insider said of the couple’s decision to discuss their issues: “It’s very much a mentality of ‘us against the world’, which is a real shame.
“The Duke and Duchess have much to offer and could be a formidable asset for the Royal Family. But they need to work as a team with the rest of the royal household and, rightly or wrongly, there is a lot of distrust right now.
“There’s also a startling lack of self-awareness about some of the problems they have experienced that have been of their own making, such as the row over their use of private jets. None of this is healthy – for anyone.”
Penny Junor, a royal commentator, also waded into the debate by claiming the Windsors were a “strangle family and not one that has supported one another very well”.
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Yet, in a move away from the rift claims, both Harry and William issued a joint statement surrounding plans to immortalise their mother with a new statue inside Kensington Palace.
The statement, which comes ahead of Monday – the 23rd anniversary of Diana’s death – said: “The Princes hope that the statue will help all those who visit Kensington Palace to reflect on their mother’s life and her legacy.”
Normally, the brothers would spend the day together, but for the first time, the brothers are set to spend the occasion on different sides of the world.