Putting their issues aside. Prince William‘s public reunion with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “wasn’t an easy decision” for the royal to make, an insider exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly.
“In the end, [William] elected to [invite them] because it was agreed amongst all of them that this very much the appropriate thing to do,” a source shares with Us about the Prince of Wales’ choice to greet mourners alongside his brother, 37, following Queen Elizabeth II‘s death.
According to the insider, William, 40, didn’t want any drama to overshadow his grandmother’s legacy.
“For all of their differences in the past, many of which still linger, this was what The Queen would have wanted and William knew very well that it was no time to be holding onto grudges or distancing himself from his brother,” the source continues. “They needed to put on a united front and pay their respects for her sake as well as the monarchy as a whole and the people she served so tirelessly during her reign.”
William and his wife, Duchess Kate, were photographed greeting crowds of well-wishers in Windsor, England, on Saturday, September 10. The couple, who share kids Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, were joined by Harry and Meghan, 41, days after Elizabeth’s death at the age of 96.
The foursome’s outing marked their first joint public appearance in years. Following Harry and Meghan’s decision to step back from their roles as senior roles, the Duke of Sussex’s relationship with his older brother took a turn.
“William was blindsided by Harry and Meghan’s decision and statement,” a second source previously told Us in January 2020, shortly after the pair’s announcement made headlines. “There’s still a rift between the two brothers. It’s sad because when they were younger, William would be the first person Harry would go to with big news like this.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who share son Archie, 3, and daughter Lili, 15 months, made their exit permanent in February of the following year and later moved to California. The twosome have seen been candid about the challenges they faced while living in the U.K.
“It’s a mix between The Truman Show and living in a zoo,” Harry said during an appearance on Dax Shepard‘s “Armchair Expert” podcast in May 2021. “The biggest issue for me was that, being born into it, you inherit the risk. You inherit every element of it without a choice. And because of the way the U.K. media are, they feel an ownership over you.”
He added: “In my early 20s, I was in space of, ‘I don’t want this job. Look what it did to my mum, how am I ever going to settle down, have a wife and a family, when I know this is going to happen again.’ I’ve seen behind the curtain, I know how this operation runs and works. I don’t want to be part of this. Then once I started doing therapy suddenly the bubble was burst.”
For more on where William and Harry stand now, watch the video above and look for the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.