Prince Harry felt left out of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘family unit’ as the couple grew their brood

"William fitted into the Middleton family very quickly"

Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Neil Mockford/GC Images and Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince Harry reportedly felt 'displaced' by Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘bougie family unit’ as his brother integrated himself into the Middleton family and the couple grew their brood, a royal expert has claimed. 

Prince Harry's memoir Spare was filled with revelations but perhaps none was as surprising and heart-wrenching as the insights into his relationship with his older brother, Prince William.  

But while the public didn't wake up to the brothers' rivalry until Harry put it down in writing, their relationship has clearly been deteriorating for some time and a lot of their issues can be traced back to when William met his wife Kate Middleton. In Harry's own words, he felt that Prince William was ‘gone forever’ after his marriage to Kate.

The problems, according to royal author Tina Brown, stem from the fact that Harry simply did not get along with the new William that his brother became when he met and married Kate, with the younger sibling who once went by the sweet nickname Harold feeling 'displaced' by the Middleton's 'bougie family unit.'

Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

In her book The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor, the Truth and the Turmoil, royal author Tina Brown claims, "Though they [Harry and William] were still incredibly close, living next door to each other [at Kensington Palace], sharing the same office, and hanging out an awful lot," Harry still “mourned his us-against-the-world bond with William" that he felt he lost following his marriage to Kate Middleton. 

She added that spending time in the Bucklebury countryside where the Middleton's lived wasn't something that interested Harry in the slightest, writing, "Harry felt displaced by their bougie family unit, and couldn’t understand his brother’s obsession with his Middleton in-laws, whose Bucklebury world bored Harry to tears. 

"The [Waleses and Middletons] had become a tight unit, and William a full-on Windsor country bumpkin. On weekends when he wasn’t chez Middleton, he was tramping the grounds of Anmer Hall, the red-brick Georgian mansion on the Sandringham Estate that the Queen gave the couple as a wedding present, wearing a flat cap and tweed jacket like his ‘turnip toff’ Norfolk farmer friends."

But it wasn't just Harry who felt different towards his sibling post-wedding. "For his part, William felt that Harry’s unabated Jack the Lad behaviour was getting tiresome," Tina claims. "He was less amused than the British public by either the strip billiards debacle in Las Vegas or Harry’s ceaseless boozy nightclub forays with his rowdy friends. His younger brother’s recklessness exasperated him."

Prince Harry, Prince William and Kate Middleton

(Image credit: Nicky J Sims/Getty Images for Royal Foundation)

While Harry was less than pleased about his brother's new life, William fitted into the Middleton's family unit with ease and enjoyed the 'stability and grounding' the 'normal' family offered him. 

Speaking about William's love for the Middleton's, Joe Little, the managing editor of Majesty Magazine told The Daily Express, “I would say, in terms of William, she brought her family. William fitted into the Middleton family very quickly and they took to him as a future son-in-law. 

"I think also a bit of stability and grounding and a bit of normality that William perhaps wasn't too familiar with when growing up because clearly his parents' marriage was facing difficulties when he was a child and he was very aware of that and eventually their marriage disintegrated.”

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse
Royal News and Entertainment writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is royal news and entertainment writer for She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.