Royal News

Prince William and Prince Harry’s relationship over the years is revealed through photos

rince William and Prince Harry once shared an unbreakable bond. The royal brothers supported one another through the loss of their mother, Princess Diana, carried out fun joint engagements and were each other’s best man at their respective weddings.

In recent years, their relationship has become fractured, however, with Harry first addressing rumours that there were tensions between him and his older brother during Tom Bradby’s 2019 documentary, Harry & Meghan: An African Journey. When asked by the reporter at the time whether there was any truth to the reports, the Duke said “inevitably stuff happens” but that there was little truth to the speculation, saying: “The majority of the stuff is created out of nothing but as brothers, you know, you have good days, you have bad days.”

Harry added of William: “We are certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him as I know he will always be there for me. We don’t see each other as much as we used to because we are so busy, but I love him dearly.”

But tensions deepened in early 2020 when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to step back as senior royals, with Harry later claiming in his and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries that William screamed and shouted at him during the Sandringham summit.

The Sussexes made a number of claims against the royal family in their 2020 interview with Oprah Winfrey, including accusations of racism.

Leaked extracts of Harry’s memoir, Spare, also detail a physical altercation between him and William at Nottingham Cottage in 2019. The brothers were last reunited publicly together at their grandmother Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral in September. Although Harry returned to the United Kingdom several times in 2023 and visited their father in 2024 following the monarch’s cancer diagnosis, he didn’t see his brother on any of those occasions, and there’s no indication that Harry and William will reunite when the Duke of Sussex arrives back in the UK on Wednesday.

Whether William and Harry will one day reconcile their relationship remains to be seen, but take a look back at the brothers together in happier times…

Princess Diana behind Prince William and Prince Harry at a piano

Young brothers – 1985

The brothers shared a sweet bond from a young age, with Princess Diana encouraging her sons to look out for one another. Here, a young William and baby Harry can be seen playing the piano at their Kensington Palace home in 1985.

King Charles holding a baby Prince Harry on Prince William's shoulders

Playing around – 1985

Little Harry climbed on his older brother’s shoulders with the help of their father Charles.

A young Prince Harry going down a slide towards Prince William; Princess Diana stands behind the slide

Playtime in the garden – 1986

The brothers, dressed in the uniform of the Parachute Regiment, were just like any other little boys their age as they played on a slide in their family garden in 1986. Look how young William waits for his brother at the bottom of the slide.

Princess Diana with a young Prince Harry and Prince William

In Scotland – 1986

Mother’s boys! William and Harry shared a special moment with mum Diana during a trip to Scotland.

A young Prince Harry and Prince William in school uniform

Supportive big brother – 1989

With his big brother by his side, Prince Harry was ready for his first day of school in 1989.

A young Prince William and Prince Harry in denim outfits and baseball caps

Family trips abroad – 1991

A double-denim moment during their family visit to Canada in 1991.

A young Prince William and Prince Harry with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie on a skiing holiday

Leading the way – 1995

Prince William led the way during a ski trip with Prince Harry – and their little cousins, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie – during a 1995 ski trip to Switzerland.

Charles Spencer, Prince William, Prince Harry and King Charles at Princess Diana's funeral

Diana’s funeral – 1997

Although not the happiest time for the royal brothers, their bond was on full display when they walked behind their mother, Princess Diana’s coffin in 1997. William and Harry were stood at each other’s sides for the sombre event.

Prince William and Prince Harry laughing

Laughing away – 2003

Following the death of their mother, the brothers came to heavily rely on each other. And they always had the best sense of humour, and this 2003 photo captures the pair in uproarious laughter.

Prince Harry joking with Prince William

Best behaviour, boys?

The duo often caused each other to laugh during their royal outings, and they couldn’t keep a straight face when they father, Charles, married Camilla Parker-Bowles in 2005.

Prince William smiling at Prince Harry in military uniform

Look of pride – 2006

William was one proud older brother in 2006 when Harry took part in his Passing Out Parade, a graduation ceremony for someone studying at a military academy.

Prince Harry, Joss Stone and Prince William underneath umbrellas

Diana concert – 2007

On the tenth anniversary of their mother’s death, the brothers united for an incredible concert in her memory.

Prince William and Prince Harry shaking hands with an elderly gentleman at William's wedding

Best man duties – 2011

Prince Harry walked nervous groom Prince William to the altar on his 2011 wedding day.

Polo brothers - 2011

Polo brothers – 2011

Friendly competition! William and Harry proved that there is still love between them with a friendly handshake after competing against each other in the Sentebale Polo Cup polo match at Coworth Park.

Prince William and Prince Harry laughing with a snake around them

Hair-raising encounter – 2015

The royal brothers proved that they were a fearless duo when they held on to an African rock python in Botswana in 2015.

Prince William speaking into Prince Harry's ear

Rival brothers – 2015

Game time madness! England fan Harry and Wales supporter Will looked like they were sharing some friendly banter as their rival teams went head-to-head during the Rugby World Cup.

Prince WIlliam and Prince Harry duelling with lightsabers

Duelling brothers – 2016

In April 2016, Harry and William tried out light sabers during a tour of the Star Wars set at Pinewood studios in Iver Heath, England.

Kate Middleton, Prince William and Prince Harry running

Friendly competition – 2017

Kate was left in the dust as William and Harry went head to head during a Marathon Training Day with Team Heads Together at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on February 5, 2017 in London.

Prince William and Prince Harry smirking at each other

A royal smirk – 2018

This photo just screams mischief! The royal brothers attended the opening of the Greenhouse Sports Centre in April 2018 – and judging by the smirk on William’s face, Harry must have said something funny…

Prince William and Prince Harry looking at a teddy bear

Prep for the big day – 2018

Prince William was really earning his best man stripes as he accompanied Harry on a walkabout to meet members of the public in Windsor ahead of his wedding. This photo of them examining a little teddy bear is just too adorable!

Prince Harry and Prince William laughing at Harry's wedding

Harry gets married

Prince William and Prince Harry’s bond never looked closer than on Harry’s wedding day in May 2018. William served as his best man and appeared to do a great job as he kept Harry smiling while waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

King Charles walking with Prince William, Kaye Middleton, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry

Christmas together – 2018

A wonderful landmark moment for Prince Harry in 2018 as he spent his first Christmas as a married man. Harry and his new bride Meghan were joined by William and Kate and then-Prince Charles for the Christmas Day church service at Church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham estate. It looks like a great laugh was had by all!

Prince William and Prince Harry in suits

Reunion – 2021

The royal brothers reunited for a couple of occasions in 2021, including the unveiling of a statue dedicated to their late mother. Despite rumours of their royal rift in full play, the duo could be seen laughing together at the poignant event.

Prince William and Prince Harry in black suits© 

Final outing

The last time William and Harry were seen close together was when they conducted a walkabout following the late Queen’s death. Due to the seriousness of the event, the usual jokes and smiles were nowhere to be seen. The duo haven’t been seen so close to one another since, sitting apart at the King’s coronation in 2023.

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