Prince William is reportedly incredibly disappointed by the way his brother Prince Harry and Meghan Markle responded after Queen Elizabeth announced that the couple have officially stepped down from their royal roles following a year-long trial period.
Sources with the palace told the U.K.’s Sunday Times on Sunday that William is “really sad and genuinely shocked” about the way his younger brother is behaving.
This came days after Buckingham Palace confirmed that Harry and Meghan will not be returning to royal life one year after the couple announced that they were taking “a step back”as senior royals, a decision that came with a one-year review period.
“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have confirmed to Her Majesty The Queen that they will not be returning as working members of The Royal Family,” the statement began, according to Fox News. “Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service. While all are saddened by their decision, The Duke and Duchess remain much loved members of the family.”
Harry and Meghan then fired back by issuing a statement of their own, saying that “as evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.”
A source close to William said that this statement did not sit well with him, adding that he is “very upset by what has happened” and found the couple’s behavior “insulting and disrespectful.”
“You don’t answer the queen back – it’s just not done,” another insider added.
Despite this, however, friends of the brothers still believe that they will be able to mend their relationship.
“It’s still raw,” a friend of William’s said. “He’s very upset by what has happened, though absolutely intent that he and Harry’s relationship will heal in time.”
The rift between the brothers is reportedly over fears that William had with how fast Harry’s romance with Meghan moved.
“William was quite concerned that the relationship had moved so quickly,” royal expert Katie Nicholl claimed in the TLC documentary “Kate V. Meghan: Princesses at War?” “And being close to Harry, you know, probably the only person close enough to say to Harry, ‘This seems to be moving quickly. Are you sure?’ And I think what was meant as well intended brotherly advice just riled Harry.”
“Harry is hugely protective of Meghan,” Nicholl continued. “He saw that as criticism, he interpreted that as his brother not really being behind this marriage, this union. And I don’t think things have been quite right ever since.”