Prince William Is ‘A Bit Envious’ of Prince Harry: Sources

On the heels of Prince Harry’s return to the U.K., Prince William and Harry’s relationship remains complicated — and Us Weekly has new insight into the rift.

“William is a bit envious of [his brother’s] freedoms,” one source exclusively shares in Us’ cover story.

Harry, 39, and his wife, Meghan Markle, who share two children, Archie, 4, and Lilibet, 2, left the U.K. behind after announcing in January 2020 that they planned to step down from their senior roles within the royal family. They have since settled down into a $14 million home in Montecito, California, more than 5,000 miles from Buckingham Palace.

Ed Owens, a royal historian and author of After Elizabeth: Can the Monarchy Save Itself?, agrees with the source, telling Us that there’s little doubt that William, 41, “feels envious” of Harry’s accomplishments, citing his work with the Invictus Games. (The international multi-sport event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women was founded by Harry during his time as patron of the Royal Foundation.)

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“Harry has done remarkable things,” Owen says, adding that the Invictus Games “now has international presences, and I think that international stage is something both brothers are clearly vying for. That international limelight really sets Harry’s work apart from other members of the royal family.”

British journalist Robert Jobson previously claimed that William was caught off guard with Harry’s success with the Invictus Games.

Prince Harry and Prince William Us Weekly 2420 Cover
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“I think there was a degree of jealousy about how well it had gone,” Jobson said in the ABC News special Prince Harry’s Mission: Life, Family and Invictus Games, which aired in February. “I do think that William was surprised how much this had been such a success and how much money was being thrown into it and how many governments were getting involved.”

Harry has previously been open about his complicated relationship with William, whom he referred to as his “archnemesis” in his 2023 memoir, Spare.

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“There has always been this competition between us, weirdly,” Harry said during an interview with Good Morning America in January 2023 while promoting his book. “I think it really plays into or always played by the ‘heir/spare.’”

A separate insider tells Us that Harry doesn’t feel that way now, and he has extended his family invites to an Invictus Games anniversary event in London next month— but it’s unclear if William or Princess Kate Middleton have any intention of attending.

Prince William Is A Bit Envious of Prince Harry s Freedom 383

Prince William, Prince Harry.
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“Harry is very content [and] doesn’t have any of those [old] feelings now,” the source says. “He feels that his life has purpose and meaning and that he can bring a lot of good to the world.”

In addition to his estrangement from Harry, William — who’s first in line for the throne — has been feeling the pressure as both Kate, 42, and King Charles III receive treatment for their respective cancer battles.

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“It’s been stressful,” a source told Us earlier this month. “William feels a profound sense of duty to uphold the monarchy’s stability and inspire confidence in the public that everything will be OK. It’s an immense responsibility.”

For more on William and Harry, watch the exclusive video above — and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.

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