Rift? What rift? Harry and Wills are just grow­ing up, in­sist aides

Sunday Express - - HISTORIC MOMENT IN BATTLE FOR BREXIT - By News Re­porter

HOR­RI­FIED royal aides have moved to play down talk of a grow­ing rift be­tween Princes Harry and Wil­liam.

Kens­ing­ton Palace sig­nalled what many fear is the end of the royal “bro­mance” this week­end, when they an­nounced that the Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex are quit­ting London to set up home on the Queen’s Wind­sor es­tate.

Harry and Meghan, ex­pect­ing their first child in a few months, will move from Kens­ing­ton Palace to Frog­more Cot­tage, part of the Grade I listed Frog­more House es­tate.

Those close to Meghan say Harry has be­come tired of liv­ing in the pocket of big brother Wil­liam and wife Kate, in the shadow of the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge’s mag­nif­i­cent palace apart­ment.

The move comes as Harry and Wil­liam de­cided to split their joint house­hold of­fice and go their sep­a­rate ways, of­fi­cially and in pri­vate.

A friend ex­plained: “Harry knows he will al­ways be in Wil­liam’s shadow and for many years he has felt like a bit of a spare wheel, drag­ging along be­hind his brother and Kate. Now he has a life of his own and a fam­ily of his own. It is per­fectly nat­u­ral to want to be more in­de­pen­dent.

“This isn’t the end of a great re­la­tion­ship but the start of some­thing new. Harry and Wil­liam will al­ways be close, but they don’t have to be twins.”

Friends say the royal re­la­tion­ship sharp­ened when Harry re­alised Meghan and Kate were not go­ing to be close friends. One said: “His pri­or­i­ties have changed. It’s now about his wife, his fam­ily. He’s not try­ing to please any­one else.”

Royal fans pre­vi­ously de­scribed Harry, Meghan, Wil­liam and Kate as The Firm’s Fab Four. But an aide said: “Even The Bea­tles broke up even­tu­ally.

“The broth­ers aren’t chil­dren any more, they’re ap­proach­ing mid­dle age very fast.”

Mag­nif­i­cent Frog­more House es­tate, built in the 17th cen­tury by Charles II’s favourite ar­chi­tects, got its name from the marshy ground upon which it is built, which en­cour­aged frogs to breed there.

The es­tate is a spe­cial favourite of the Queen and the Duke of Ed­in­burgh and has re­cently had a mul­ti­mil­lion-pound restora­tion.

It in­cludes ex­ten­sive work on one of Bri­tain’s great­est lost na­tional trea­sures, The Royal Mau­soleum, where Queen Vic­to­ria and Prince Al­bert share a grand tomb.

Aides are hop­ing it will be re­stored in time for the Queen to re­open it to mark the 200th an­niver­sary of Vic­to­ria’s birth next year.

An aide said: “It is a real mark of af­fec­tion for the Sus­sexes to be wel­comed to the Frog­more es­tate.”

Meghan and Harry fell in love with Frog­more af­ter mak­ing it the lo­ca­tion for their ro­man­tic en­gage­ment pho­tos and their wed­ding re­cep­tion.

Kens­ing­ton Palace sought to play down claims of a rift, ei­ther be­tween the broth­ers or their wives.

A spokesman said: “The Duke and Duchess of Sus­sex will move to Frog­more Cot­tage on the Wind­sor Es­tate early next year as they pre­pare for the ar­rival of their first child.

“Wind­sor is a very spe­cial place for their Royal High­nesses and they are grate­ful that their of­fi­cial res­i­dence will be on the es­tate. The Duke and Duchess’s of­fice will con­tinue to be based at Kens­ing­ton Palace.”

Pic­ture: AN­WAR HUS­SEIN/WireIm­age

MOV­ING ON: ‘Fab Four’ Meghan, Harry, Wil­liam and Kate, top. Above, mag­nif­i­cent Frog­more House and right, restora­tion on theRoyal Mau­soleum

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