UK

‘No going back’ for William and Harry, royal writer Omid Scobie says

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex on the day of the late Queen’s funeral (Emilio Morenatti/PA)
The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex on the day of the late Queen’s funeral (Emilio Morenatti/PA) The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex on the day of the late Queen’s funeral (Emilio Morenatti/PA)

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex’s relationship is beyond repair and there is “no going back”, royal writer Omid Scobie has said.

The journalist, ahead of the publication of his new book Endgame which is due out on November 28, told People magazine that William sees Harry as a “defector”, and some in the institution view him as a “threat to the Crown”.

Scobie said that “absolutely nothing” has changed in the brothers’ rift since the release of Harry’s autobiography Spare at the start of the year, although there is now an element of indifference.

Diana’s 60th birthday
Diana’s 60th birthday The Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex’s rift has long been documented (Yui Mok/PA)

The writer claims heir to the throne William is prioritising his loyalty to the Crown and quietly co-operating with the UK press to undermine Harry, People magazine reported.

In excerpts, Scobie also writes that Harry was “crushed” at having to learn the news of the late Queen’s death from a BBC news report.

Scobie claims palace sources later briefed that the King shared the news with Harry personally in a bid to save face.

He wrote how Harry was described by a source close to the Sussexes as being “completely by himself” as he tried to make plans to fly to Balmoral on the day of the Queen’s death, and said he “remained in the dark” about his grandmother’s health in her final moments.

Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and Archewell all declined to comment.

Scobie is also the co-author of Finding Freedom, a biography of the Sussexes, which claimed the duke was angered by what he perceived as William’s “snobbish” attitude to his bride.

Meghan’s lawyers previously denied she collaborated with the book.

But in November 2021, the duchess apologised to the High Court for not remembering that she agreed an aide could provide information to Scobie and fellow writer Carolyn Durand for the biography.

Relations between William and Harry have long been strained, and worsened after the accusations Harry publicly levelled at his brother in double tell-alls: his memoir Spare and his Netflix documentary.

In Spare, released just months after Elizabeth II died, Harry accused William of physically attacking him and pushing him into a dog bowl in a row over Meghan.

Duke of Sussex autobiography – Spare
Duke of Sussex autobiography – Spare The Duke of Sussex’s memoir Spare on display at a branch of Waterstones in London (James Manning/PA)

He also alleged it was William and the now-Princess of Wales who encouraged him to wear a Nazi uniform to a fancy dress party in 2005 and “howled” with laughter when they saw it.

Scobie described Spare as Harry’s last attempt to tell his family how he has felt for a long time.

The writer said of Endgame: “I was talking to a source quite early on in the process, and they called Harry a ‘defector’ and said that was William’s view.”

He added: “In the eyes of some within the institution, Harry is a threat to the crown.”

He said of the brothers’ relationship: “There’s no going back.”

The Royal Wedding
The Royal Wedding The brothers on William’s wedding day in 2011 (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The book’s full title is Endgame: Inside The Royal Family And The Monarchy’s Fight For Survival, and its chapters include Race and the Royals: Institutional Bigotry and Denial, and another called Gloves On: Prince William, Heir to the Throne.

It also recounts Harry’s experience on the day the late Queen died when he claims William did not respond to his texts as he tried to arrange to travel to Balmoral.

“It was upsetting to witness,” a source close to the Sussexes told Scobie. “(Harry) was completely by himself on this.”

His grandmother died at 3.10pm on September 8 2022. The duke travelled separately up to Scotland from William and other members of his family with his flight leaving at 5.35pm.

The news of the late Queen’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace at 6.30pm while he was in the air.