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The 'clear the air' meeting designed to heal Harry and William's 'rift'

The relationship between the royal brothers is understood to have been difficult recently. Credit: PA

With the Duke of Cambridge on the other side of the world honouring the victims of the New Zealand shootings and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex awaiting the imminent arrival of their first baby – there’s a lot going on in the Royal Family at the moment.

But it’s also a moment to acknowledge that this is a family – and this family, like many families, has been experiencing some stresses and strains.

So much so, that the Sussexes and Cambridges needed to have a ‘clear the air’ meeting in Windsor on Easter Sunday.

It took place at Harry and Meghan’s new home, Frogmore Cottage.

As William and Kate were in Windsor with The Queen for the Easter service at St George’s Chapel, it was clearly a good moment for the Cambridges to pop round.

And so they did, armed with a housewarming present for the Sussexes.

So why was it necessary?

Kate & Harry were all smiles as they attended Anzac Day Service in London on Thursday. Credit: PA

It was needed to help heal a ‘rift’ which has developed in recent months between the two brothers.

You might have seen acres of column inches and thousands social media posts devoted to claims that Kate and Meghan don’t get on - but the truth of the matter is that a problem has developed between William and Harry, not their wives.

No one is entirely sure what triggered it, or whether it’s related to one issue or many issues, but in royal circles few will deny that there has been a fraternal rift – and it’s made things more than a little tricky.

Should we be surprised that it happened? Perhaps we shouldn’t.

William and Kate, seen heading to the Easter Sunday church service in Windsor. Credit: PA

As a nation, we are probably guilty for creating this image of ‘the boys’ who are the best of friends who helped one another through the trauma of losing their mother.

As there is a lot of truth in that.

But then factor in the usual sibling rivalry, made worse by one brother destined to be King (or you might say having to endure the burden of becoming King).

Factor in their lives lived in public under a global magnifying glass.

And factor in a period of intense change with partners from different backgrounds and with different outlooks, and you can see why a rift might well have developed.

The Mirror reports today that the meeting at Frogmore Cottage was Kate’s idea as she was worried about the implications of the brothers’ rift on the institution of Monarchy.

The paper also claims that the visit by the Cambridges to Frogmore Cottage lasted for around 30 minutes.

William, Harry, Charles and Sir David Attenborough were together in the front row during the global premiere of Netflix's 'Our Planet' in London at the start of April. Credit: PA

I can’t verify either of those claims – but if their chat was that short, it hardly suggests they had a great laugh over toasted hot cross buns and chocolate eggs.

You might even argue it was all rather perfunctory.

Whatever the truth of the length of the meeting and who arranged it, the fact it had to happen at all illustrates just how bad things had become between William and Harry.

After the meeting, a royal source says that the brother’s relationship is now ‘back on track’.

Royal aides also point to the arrival together of the Duke of Sussex and his sister-in-law Kate at Westminster Abbey on Thursday as a sign of that the two families are supporting each other.

The Duchess of Cambridge has reportedly played peacemaker. Credit: PA

The hope amongst courtiers is that some personal space will help matters following the Sussexes’ move out of Kensington Palace to their new home in Windsor and the creation of their new Household based at Buckingham Palace.

With Harry and Meghan about to have a baby and start on the path of parenthood, it is perhaps a good a moment as any to reset things.

Nevertheless, an acknowledgement that there has been a rift at the heart of the Royal Family is a departure from the usual palace mantra of ‘never complain, never explain’.

The Royals might have lifestyles and privileges few others will ever experience, but they also are required to live much of their lives in the public eye.

Who can really say with any authority what kind of pressure all of that puts on family relationships?

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