Rift? What rift? Harry and Wills are just growing up, insist aides
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.”
MOVING ON: ‘Fab Four’ Meghan, Harry, William and Kate, top. Above, magnificent Frogmore House and right, restoration on theRoyal Mausoleum