Britain’s Princes William and Harry, known to be very close, are preparing to go their separate ways, seeking a more independent path from each other in terms of their charity work and royal duties.
Courtiers hope that a formal separation of their staff may also help ease some recently-reported tensions between the brothers and their wives—Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, according to The Sunday Times.
The princes, grandsons of Queen Elizabeth II, are expected to create separate “courts" before the birth of Prince Harry’s first child, due in April or May. Until now they operated via what was referred to as a joint royal household but now they will carve out more distinctive roles for themselves. The brothers will operate through separate staff and communication teams, a move seen as a way for them to seek out a more independent path from each other in terms of their charity work and royal duties. The division of their shared household after 10 years reflects their increasingly different responsibilities, with William set to take on additional duties as a future king after father Charles.
Harry and his pregnant wife Meghan—the Duke and Duchess of Sussex—will shortly move from Kensington Palace to Frogmore Cottage, on the Queen’s Windsor estate. However, their new office and staff is expected to remain at Kensington Palace.
“William and Harry are working to make sure the Sussexes have an office that can support their family when they move to Frogmore this spring. This work has been under way since before last year’s wedding (of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle)," a royal official was quoted as saying.
The main division for William, 36, and Harry, 34, will be of their communication teams.
“There is a gulf in the style and approach to the type of work that William and Kate will increasingly do as future head of state and consort, and Harry and Meghan, who have more of a blank canvas with their roles," another royal source said.
Prince Charles, who funds his sons’ household and official work from his Duchy of Cornwall income, is understood to have insisted that the division be “cost neutral".
The brothers and their wives will continue to work together on their charitable royal foundation, Heads Together—which supports mental health, veterans, conservation and vulnerable young people.