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Prince Harry and Prince William first started to drift apart years ago before Meghan came on the scene, a new book claims.
The brothers had always been thought of as exceptionally close until they reportedly fell out in recent years, after he met the Suits actress.
Robert Lacey, whose book is being serialised in the Daily Mail, claims the roots of the disagreement between the pairstarted while Prince Harry was still at school and his older brother was on a gap year.
While he was away Prince Harry had started “getting stoned to excess”, the book claims – leading to his visit to a London rehab centre in summer 2001 to learn about the “consequences of taking drugs”, aged 17.
After a story broke in January 2002 about the visit and the younger prince’s “drugs shame”, the biographer claims he was cast as “the dirty rascal” whereas his brother got off completely.
But Wills had been the first one to start drinking with his brother and coax him into "errant and self-destructive ways", according to the book Battle Of Brothers: William, Harry And The Inside Story Of A Family In Tumult.
In the book, which is being serialised in the Daily Mail, the author wrote: “Nothing seriously discreditable was ever written about the future William V — the 'King of the Castle’.”
Another incident is said to have involved Prince Harry wearing a Nazi costume to a fancy dress party in 2005, aged 20.
But after it first emerged, critics did not “remark” on the fact his older brother had been alongside him when he chose the costume and went to the same party, the newspaper reported.
Mr Lacey claims Prince Harry “began re-evaluating his elder brother's involvement and the unfairness of William's subsequent emergence smelling of roses”.
Queen's stern advice to Prince Philip at Harry and Meghan's Royal Wedding
He claims: “It made Harry feel resentful and even alienated.”
A rift is said to have developed between them at that time, as Prince Harry “had first started to realise the price of playing the monarchy's institutional scapegoat".
Mr Lacey said Meghan was not the original factor leading to Prince Harry’s decision to leave the royal family in January this year.
He claimed he already had reasons to leave the “demeaning” role that it was assumed he should play.
- Royal Family
- Prince Harry
- Prince William
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