Harry & William: What Went Wrong?

Sunday: Harry & William: What Went Wrong?; (ITV, 9pm)

Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 5:00 pm

On September 6, 1997, the world was transfixed when two young boys, walking alongside their father, grandfather and uncle, fell into step behind their mother’s flower-covered coffin as it travelled through London.

Of course their mother was Diana, Princess of Wales, and those impossibly young, heartbreakingly sad boys were Princes William and Harry.

We fell in love with them as babies, saw them grow up under the watchful eye of the Royal family, felt their pain as their parents’ marriage disintegrated and they eventually divorced.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the opening of the Greenhouse Sports Centre
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend the opening of the Greenhouse Sports Centre

As they grew into young men, they brought the monarchy into the 20th and later 21st century, softening their father, Prince Charles’ somewhat crusty, eccentric image and sparking the hopes of a generation of teenage girls.

William, as heir to the throne, was a calm, steadfast figure, while Harry seemed more of a loose cannon, falling victim to the same tabloid headlines from time to time as Diana.

When William married Kate Middleton in April 2011, the country was genuinely thrilled the future king had found romance. Harry was his best man and, in 2018, William returned the favour when his younger brother tied the knot with Meghan Markle. It seemed for all the world as if the tragedy of their mother’s death was, if not behind them, then somewhat eclipsed by new beginnings.

However, behind the scenes, all was not well with the royal brothers.

Throughout history, kings and princes have bickered and argued, over crowns, over land, over religion, going to war and generally causing enough mayhem to keep historians hip-deep in material for decades.

But the difference between then and now is that the long-standing, unwritten understanding that protected the Windsors from both the media and public gaze was in tatters following Diana’s death. They were free game, and the rise of social media, where every gesture, every syllable, is analysed and speculated upon, has only magnified the gilded goldfish bowl of Royal life.

Stories began to emerge of a rift between William and Harry, rumours of altercations over household staff between Meghan and Kate circulated and were pounced upon by social media users.

In 2018, the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex made their first public appearance together at the annual Royal Foundation’s forum, with big plans to carry out charitable works together. By 2020, the quartet was no more, the start of a journey for Harry and Meghan that would lead to their bombshell decision to step down as senior royals.

Battle lines were drawn and opinions flew as the latter couple upped sticks and moved to the US with their son, Archie. Since then, the pair opened their hearts to Oprah Winfrey in an interview that pulled very few punches.

But how did Princes William and Harry, once hailed as the future of the Royal family, end up at odds and on opposite sides of the Pond?

This documentary seeks to answer that question, speaking to royal insiders about the brothers’ relationship, and revealing how there were significant private fallings-out between them that took place long before their issues became public.

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