EXCLUSIVE: What should have been a joyous time for a new uncle turned out to be a day of annoyance for Prince William.
Royal historian and biographer Robert Lacey told Fox News that the Duke of Cambridge was royally peeved with how Buckingham Palace handled the news that Meghan Markle had gone into labor with her first born Archie.
On the morning of May 6, 2019, the former American actress, 39, and her husband Prince Harry, 36, welcomed a healthy son. According to Lacey, Archie arrived at 5:26 a.m., allowing the couple and Markle’s mother Doria Ragland to return to Windsor undetected.
The palace didn’t announce that Markle had gone into labor until Archie was born. And by then, Lacey alleged she, Harry and Ragland were all heading home from the hospital.
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While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted to protect their privacy and arrive home safely, William, 38, was disappointed by the couple’s “prima donna maneuvers.”
Lacey, who serves as a historical consultant to the hit Netflix series “The Crown,” recently released a new book titled “Battle of Brothers: William and Harry–The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult,” which examines the relationship and alleged feud between Princess Diana’s two sons.
The author, who has been writing about the British royal family for 40 years and previously worked at the royal archives, spoke to numerous palace insiders for his latest release.
“At that stage, it was difficult for Meghan and Harry to conceal the birth of their son because they were still on the payroll of the British monarchy,” Lacey explained. “We have a tradition here in Britain that royal babies should be seen and enjoyed by the public. But instead, Meghan and Harry chose to follow their own rules and have their baby in private. It is understood that William felt they should have gone through the motions of showing the baby to the public as members of the royal family.”
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William, who is second in line to the British throne, was reportedly so miffed that he and his wife Kate Middleton allegedly waited “a full eight days” to visit the couple and meet his newborn nephew. Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Duchess Camilla all showed up within hours and “cooed over the baby.”
Lacey also pointed out that even when William and Middleton, 38, finally arrived, they didn’t bring their three children along to meet the newest addition to the royal family.
“A lot of people have told me William has a temper,” said Lacey. “He has taken comfort in the fact that his future destiny is to be king. That’s what has kept him going. Duty comes before all.”
A representative for William did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. Rebecca English, royal editor for Daily Mail London, tweeted at the time that William and Middleton waited for Harry to return from Oxford before heading to meet Archie and their children were not with them.
It’s no secret that there was animosity between William and his younger brother Harry.
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Rumors of an alleged royal feud came to light in 2019, when British bestselling author Katie Nicholl claimed that William grew increasingly worried about his sibling and his whirlwind romance with the former “Suits” star.
“William was quite concerned that the relationship had moved so quickly,” 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.”
Lacey alleged that William even turned to their uncle, Charles Spencer, to see if he could talk to Harry about his concerns.
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“Let’s make clear that William’s reservation wasn’t whether Meghan was right for Harry, but whether she was right for the royal family and royal life,” Lacey explained. “When it came to Kate, William was slow and cautious. He followed duty. Harry immediately fell in love and discovered a new destiny for himself, a new meaning in his life. William saw Meghan as a self-made woman who created her own celebrity and wealth in the process. The royal family, on the other hand, is in the business of representing values.
“Royals are expected to know their place,” Lacey continued. “And Harry, of course, was expected to marry a nice girl named Henrietta or Gabriella who lived in the provinces of Britain in the countryside and settle down. But Meghan and Harry both made it clear they wanted to do so much more than that. And let’s just say there are things that you can and cannot do when it comes to running the royal family and what it stands for.”
In January, Markle and Harry announced they were stepping back as senior royals and would split their time between the United Kingdom and North America while they become financially independent.
Lacey said Elizabeth, 94, suggested setting up a family lunch meeting to discuss the negotiations regarding their exit. He said the reigning monarch was aware of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s unhappiness and wanted to make things right. However, one royal refused to attend.
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“There was one prince who said, ‘No, I’m not going to come to lunch and sit with my brother,’” Lacey alleged. “‘I am absolutely furious. I don’t think I can be trusted to keep my temper in his company.’ And which brother was this? It was William who refused to go to the family lunch and who would only negotiate with Harry round a table.
“Both sides lost their tempers, which resulted in some bitter negotiations,” Lacey alleged. “The relationship between the two brothers certainly did deteriorate. I think their respective bad tempers and anger played a big role in this.”
Lacey said that while William and Harry “speak on the phone from time to time,” it will take a while for their relationship to heal. Harry, Markle and Archie,1, all currently reside in California.
“I think it would always have happened that Meghan and Harry would live on the other side of the world,” he explained. “I think Meghan and Harry will remain based in North America. Unless the brothers can find a way to reconcile, they will have to go their separate ways and keep mutual respect for each other.”
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“We do know that in July 2021, both brothers have committed to being in Kensington Gardens for the unveiling of the statue dedicated to their late mother, Princess Diana,” he pointed out. “The world will judge then. But there is a lot of work to be done.”
Harry previously hinted at an alleged rift with his older brother in last year’s ITV documentary “Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.”
“Part of this role and part of this job, this family, being under the pressure that it’s under, inevitably stuff happens,” he said at the time. “But look, we’re brothers, we’ll always be brothers. We’re certainly on different paths at the moment but I’ll always be there for him and I know he’ll always be there for me.”