The differences between the children of the new king and Diana of Wales became notorious at Elizabeth II’s funeral.
Britain’s Princes William and Harry walked together behind Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin on Monday, just as they did 25 years ago with their mother Princess Diana, but there have been no signs of reconciliation.
With a Harry memoir due next year and backstage arguments over uniforms and nicknames for their children, they and their wives, Kate and Meghan, looked lonelier than ever.
The brothers did their homework, walking shoulder to shoulder behind their father, King Charles III, and other senior members of the royal family, as their grandmother’s coffin was carried to Westminster Abbey for her funeral.
William, heir to the throne of his father Charles III, wore military uniform. Harry, who had been forbidden to do so since leaving his life as King, wore a suit to which he pinned his medals.
As the coffin was being transported to the abbey, Harry kept his eyes open as other members of the family in uniform greeted him.
Last week, William told the audience that walking behind his grandmother’s coffin brought back painful memories of his mother’s funeral procession in 1997, when he was 15 and his brother was just 12.
But if this painful shared experience is in their minds, there is no external acknowledgment of it.
At the entrance to the abbey, the brothers were so close they could finish each other’s sentences, accompanied by William and Kate’s wives and eldest children, Prince George, nine, and Princess Charlotte, seven, who are second and third respectively in his grandfather’s line of succession.
The newly named Kate, Princess of Wales, like William’s mother Diana, wore a black outfit with a wide-brimmed hat and her long hair tied back in a bun.
Meghan wore a black dress, gown and wide-brimmed hat.
The four, who were seen as the future of the monarchy until they parted ways, made no eye contact as they followed the coffin down the aisle and sat apart.
William and his family sat in a front pew with his father and his siblings Anna, Andrés and Eduardo.
Harry and Meghan, officially the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, were seated in the second row just behind the King and Queen, along with their cousin Princess Beatrice.
There was speculation that Harry might wear his official uniform to the funeral after he appeared, dressed in the uniform of the Blues and Royal Knights he served in, at a vigil near the Queen’s tomb on Saturday night. A final gesture from the king to his son.
Harry served twice with the British Army in Afghanistan, but strict protocols keep the royals active and in full military uniform for events such as funerals.
This has left Henry in a difficult position since he abdicated his royal duties to move to North America in 2020.
In an interview with American TV presenter Oprah Winfrey, Megan said an unnamed member of the royal household had expressed concern about her son’s skin color.
He also accused Kate of crying and the smallest gifts of not wanting to help him when he felt suicidal.
The pair’s icy relationship is a far cry from the days when the media hailed the “Fab Four” – the Magnificent Four, as the Beatles dubbed them.
Two days after the Queen’s death, public hopes of ending the devastating feud were also raised when the couple showed up for an impromptu picnic outside Windsor Castle.