Another week, another bombshell book about the royal family – and this one promises to lift the lid on the extent of the feud that exists between Princes William and Harry.
Battle of the Brothers by Richard Lacey, an eminent historian and royal biographer, is touted as giving fascinating insight into a family in turmoil.
The 76-year-old – who’s the author of several best-selling biographies including those of Henry Ford and Queen Elizabeth – unpacks what went wrong between the royal brothers, who were once so close.
According to Lacey, the palace refused to read the book after he gave it to them to look at before publication.
“They took fright over the title, probably,” he tells the Daily Mail.
He admits he initially believed the feud was merely the result of rumour mongering by the UK media.
“I thought it was newspapers stirring up something that wasn’t there. I didn’t want to believe it, in truth. Yet it most definitely exists. Actually, it’s worse than anyone thinks,” he says.
“Some say, ‘Oh, it doesn’t matter. It will blow over.’ But that’s not what historians will be saying in 10 years’ time. If this breach between the brothers is not healed in some way, it will come to stand with the abdication crisis [involving King Edward and Wallis Simpson in 1936] and the death of Diana as one of the traumas that changed the monarchy.”
His book traces the brothers’ lives from birth and includes their marriages – William’s to Kate Middleton and Harry’s to Meghan Markle – and delves into the difficulties and frailties both have had along the way.
Lacey, who’s a consultant on the hit royal Netflix series The Crown,
spent months talking to royal insiders about when the cracks started to appear and has impeccable sources within the monarchy. His wife, Lady Jane Rayne, the daughter of the 8th Marquess of Londonderry, was a maid of honour at the queen’s Coronation in 1953.
He believes it’s imperative that William and Harry heal their rift. William, he says, doesn’t want to go down in history as “the king who couldn’t hold his family together”.
Sources: dailymail.co.uk, robertlacey.com