A royal expert is speaking out this week to say that Prince William and Prince Harry reconnected over the holidays after an “incredibly intense” rift tore them apart for over a year.

“There were phone and video calls over the Christmas and New Year holiday and the Sussexes sent presents to the Cambridges and vice versa,” royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight. “It was an opportunity in an otherwise very busy and chaotic year for both of the families to come together and connect, albeit virtually.”

“Things are a lot better between William and Harry. If you go back a year at that stage, these brothers were barely on talking terms,” she added. “When William went to the Sandringham Summit, he was so angry with his brother. He couldn’t even face going to that lunch with the Queen. He only went for the meetings, such was his frustration and feeling of disappointment about what his brother had done and how Harry was handling the situation.”

One year ago, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle shocked the world by stepping down as senior members of the British royal family. They then moved across the world to California, leaving William and his wife Kate Middleton behind in the United Kingdom.

“Fast forward to today, the relationship is much better than it was. For a start, they are on talking terms, and not only on talking terms, they do speak relatively regularly. They were very much in touch over the holidays,” Nicholl explained. “But there is an ocean between them, there is a time difference and as Harry [has] said… they are two brothers on different paths.”

Nicholl added that while the brothers are “much better” than they previously were, it is questionable if William and Harry’s relationship “will ever be as close” as it was before.

Nicholl went on to say that Harry is “in close contact with the Queen [Elizabeth II], they certainly talk on a regular basis,” adding that the Queen “is always delighted to see Archie on video calls and it’s very important to her that she touches base with Harry.”

“The Queen has kept in close contact with Harry and Meghan for the past year,” Nicholl said. “She’s in touch with them, she knows what’s going on in their lives, they discuss their plans with her. Harry has always seen his grandmother as a mentor and while he might be in L.A., that hasn’t changed.”

This comes after an insider opened up about just how bad the rift between the brothers was.

“William and Harry’s fallout was very real, very ugly and incredibly intense,” the insider told US Weekly. “They’d reached an impasse, there was so much mud under the bridge and a lot of people felt their feud was beyond repair.”

“It’s certainly been a roller-coaster for everyone involved, especially the brothers, who are vowing not to let things get this out of hand in the future and have learned a lot from this difficult experience,” the insider continued, adding that there has been “a lot of rejoicing” from family, including Queen Elizabeth, as the two brothers have started to reconcile.

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