In case you hadn't noticed, Prince William and Prince Harry are in a ROYAL FEUD. Or, as some are calling it, a ROYAL RIFT. This drama has been going on for longer than Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's entire marriage, and chances are you're vaguely confused. We all are! Because truly, what are they even fighting about and why can't everyone just get along? In the interest of
living for the drama trying to understand the drama, we've put together a timeline of this brotherly spat. So let's go back, back to the beginning—aka winter 2018.
At this point, likely fictitious rumors of drama between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton had already been floating around the internet for a bit. Remember how Meghan allegedly made Kate cry? It was a whole ridiculous thing. But then veteran royal reporter Katie Nicholl dropped the bombshell that it was actually Harry and William who hadn't been getting along. According to Katie's sources, the brothers had a falling out around Christmas 2018, when Harry told Wills he wasn't doing enough to include Meghan in the royal family.
Per Katie's source, "Harry felt William wasn't rolling out the red carpet for Meghan and told him so. They had a bit of a fall out which was only resolved when Charles stepped in and asked William to make an effort. That's when the Cambridges invited the Sussexes to spend Christmas with them."
You'd think that'd be the end of things, but HA HA HA, please. We've only just begun.
The Sussexes and Cambridges spent Christmas together in Sandringham with the Queen, but unfortunately, royal watchers discovered a video of William seemingly ignoring Meghan during the family's walk. Basically, she tried to talk to him and he spent a ton of time adjusting his scarf instead of responding:
Truly a woof month for the royal fam. Mostly because TLC started promoting their not-at-all-insane documentary, Kate v. Meghan: Princesses at War? I'll give you a moment to side-eye the universe. During the doc, Katie Nicholl explained that "William was quite concerned that the relationship had moved so quickly. And being close to Harry, probably the only person close enough to say to Harry, 'This seems to be moving quickly, are you sure?'"
She continued, "I think what was meant as well-intended brotherly advice just riled Harry. Harry is hugely protective of Meghan. He saw that as criticism. He interpreted that as his brother not really being behind this marriage, this union, and I don't think things have been quite right ever since."
But wait, it gets more dramatic: The doc also featured a quote from The Sun's royal correspondent Emily Andrews who revealed that Harry "went ballistic and said, 'You're trying to wreck this relationship before it's even started.'" This was probably the point at which the "royal feud" became the ROYAL FEUD.
In March, royal filmmaker Nick Bullen confirmed to Fox News that Meghan and Kate were never feuding...it was always Prince William and Prince Harry. "It's actually that William and Harry have had a rift," he said. "All brothers fall out. All families fall out. Their fallout at the moment is becoming public."
Bullen also claimed Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II were "working incredibly hard to try and make sure everybody reunites," which apparently was unsuccessful!
In an effort to find out what the literal hell was going on, Cosmopolitan spoke to Katie Nicholl, who told us "I don't know that things will ever be the way they were between William and Harry."
Womp. On top of that, the brothers attend an Easter Service together and legit didn't speak. As People noted, "Harry was seen talking to [his cousin] Zara and exchanging pleasantries with Kate but did not say anything to his elder brother." Yup, there's a video:
Things kinda seemed to be improving in May. By which I mean, The Mirror dropped the news that Kate and William had visited Meghan and Harry's new house, Frogmore Cottage. Apparently their hang sesh was an "olive branch" between the brothers, and Kate urged Harry to extend the invitation because she was "acutely aware of the importance of William and Harry getting along, not just because of perception but their collective responsibility to the monarchy as a whole."
Plus, we got a video of Kate being super stoked about Meghan and Harry's baby:
So, this is when Meghan and Harry officially split from the joint charity they shared with Kate and William. It was honestly just a logistical decision and had nothing to do with drama, but that didn't stop everyone from reading into it.
Here's what they say in a statement:
"The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex has today announced the conclusions of a review into its structure, and how it will best support Their Royal Highnesses with future charitable activity.
Later this year, The Royal Foundation will become the principal charitable and philanthropic vehicle for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will establish their own new charitable foundation with transitional operating support from The Royal Foundation. In addition, both couples will continue to work together on projects in the future, including on The Foundation's mental health program, Heads Together."
Awkwardly, June also happened to be the month we found out that William and Harry fully weren't speaking before Archie's birth thanks to Katie Nicholl telling ET, "I was told by a very senior royal source that actually they weren't talking to each other at one point. I certainly think now that Archie is here, it has probably really helped to improve the relationship. William is over-the-moon that his brother is a dad."
Positive update! William and Kate joined Meghan and Harry for Archie's Christening and they took a group photo. Negative update! William made a weird face and everyone thought he was unhappy to be there:
Body language expert Judi James told the Daily Mail that William's pose is hard to "fathom," explaining:
"William's pose behind [Kate] looks harder to fathom out as it seems to show the prince in nightclub bouncer mode. The fig-leaf hand gesture, head tilt and rather evaluating facial expression and knowing smile all bear the hallmarks of a man who won't let you into the venue until you produce some ID. Harry's chosen shot of his brother at his wedding did seem to make William look oddly furtive behind him so perhaps there's a theme emerging here. The contrast with the proudly-beaming Charles and Doria is acute but again, it could reflect a moment of quiet, contemplative sibling pleasure for William, although it might be interesting to see if he was grinning happily in any of the shots Harry rejected."
Oh, and an Us Weekly source revealed that William and Kate "weren't happy about" Meghan and Harry's decision to keep the christening private, and that "William thinks his brother is going overboard keeping Archie out of the spotlight" and "blames Meghan."
Sources claimed that William and Harry planned to put their differences aside to remember their mother Princess Diana on August 31, the anniversary of her death. "They talk about the little things about Diana that made them laugh: the ski trips and outings to Thorpe Park [a British amusement park]; the effort she went to on their birthdays...all of it," a source told Us Weekly, adding that Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle planned to "join them later."
Good ol' October. Otherwise known as the month Prince Harry broke the internet and admitted there is, in fact, a royal rift. "Part of this role and part of this job, and this family, being under the pressure that it's under, inevitably, you know, stuff happens," he said when asked about the rumored feud during ITV's documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. "But look, we're brothers, we'll always be brothers. And we're certainly on different paths at the moment, but I'll always be there for him, as I know he'll always be there for me."
He continued, "We don't see each other as much as we used to because we're so busy, but you know, I love him dearly. The majority of this stuff [in the press] is created out of nothing, but you know, as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days."
At this point, a source told Us Weekly that Kate hated seeing Meghan and Harry "so miserable," and hoped "William and Harry will eventually heal the rift and let bygones be bygones. The way she sees it, life's too short to make enemies—especially with loved ones. She's very levelheaded like that. Kate's a family girl."
"Behind the scenes, I'm told Kate is doing her best to bring everyone together and help Meghan. None of them want to let the Queen down so Kate is trying to patch things up in private. I'm told she has reached out to Meghan and spoken to her on the phone. Kate feels sorry for her and knows that Meghan is struggling."
Awkward, since the palace revealed that Meghan and Harry would be spending Christmas with Meghan's mom Doria Ragland instead of at Sandringham with the royal family. They tried to play down the drama, saying "This decision is in line with precedent set previously by other members of the Royal Family and has the support of Her Majesty the Queen," but sources said there's more to the story.
"The rift between William and Harry is one of the main reasons behind their decision. As it's Archie's first Christmas, they want it to be super special. It'll be just Doria and the three of them," a source told Us Weekly following Buckingham Palace's formal mid-month announcement. "The drama surrounding the couple has caused a huge amount of stress. They're making their family their number one priority right now."
That's all for now, but this post will be updated—hopefully with news of Harry and William's reconciliation!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.