It’s a true tragedy that after supporting one another through the trauma of their mother’s death, there is bad blood between Princes William and Harry, Kerry Parnell writes.
As Princes William and Harry prepare to unveil their statue of Diana this week, here’s hoping the occasion helps soften their stony relationship.
When the brothers reunite at Kensington Palace for their late mother’s 60th birthday on Thursday maybe it will inspire them to cut the sniping along with the ribbon and start afresh.
Of all the things Diana has missed out on – seeing her sons marry and become fathers – the fallout between the once close princes is not one of them.
Despite coming from a family of turmoil – she had a fractured relationship with her mother Frances, who she wasn’t speaking to at the time of her death after her butler Paul Burrell claims she called her daughter a “whore” – Diana lavished love on her sons.
“I live for my boys, I would be lost without them,” she said.
What a tragedy then, that it’s come to this: after supporting one another through the trauma of their mother’s death, to lose each other in such a bitter way.
It’s been almost a quarter of a century since Diana died. I was in London in 1997 and experienced the public hysteria, the flowers, the mourning. But as time has passed, the more I write about the late princess, the sadder I feel at her loss, particularly now Harry has been cast adrift, like his mother before him. It wouldn’t have happened in this way, if she’d still been here.
Family fallouts occur all the time, especially when spouses and children are introduced. Many people can feel betrayed by those closest to them, but it’s how you decide to go forward that is the key. Sometimes, letting go of the bitterness heals the injured party, too.
This is the ideal time to declare a truce: William and Harry should make Diana’s 60th the time to honour her memory with the best present possible. The road map to achieving peace is straightforward – one must put a monogrammed sock in it. A whole drawer of them, preferably. Sharing personal drama on the public stage just means curtains for your relationships.
They don’t have to be best buddies, but they do have to speak to each other. Even Putin and Biden managed a sit-down; William and Harry have to move on and the best way to do that is to declare a ceasefire and refuse to comment on family matters anymore. For Harry and Meghan that means no more Oprah truth bombs and to change the narrative from how badly they were treated in the past, to what they are doing in the future.
Sharing their “lived experience” for the sake of mental health awareness is to be commended, but there comes a time when the story starts to own you. If you don’t move forward, you’ll get mired in the past.
Diana had her future cruelly taken from her, her sons owe it to their mother to make the most of theirs. They can do that by, if not by forgiving, then forgetting.