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Despite Being 5,000 Miles Apart, Prince William and Prince Harry Still Couldn’t Bear to Attend an Event at the Same Time—Even One That Honored Their Mother Princess Diana

 Prince William and Prince Harry.
Prince William and Prince Harry.

The feud between brothers Prince William and Prince Harry is apparently so bitter that the two couldn’t bear to be at the same event at the same time as one another—an event honoring their late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a 1997 car accident—even from 5,000 miles away.

Both William and Harry honored Diana at the eponymous Diana Awards last night, held at the London Science Museum; William was on the ground and gave remarks, departing around 8:30 p.m., People reports; Harry called in via video from his home in California, which “didn’t start until around midnight, well after the main dinner was over,” People reports. The outlet added “There was no interaction between the brothers.”

Prince William at the 2024 Diana Awards
Prince William at the 2024 Diana Awards
Prince Harry at the 2024 Diana Awards
Prince Harry at the 2024 Diana Awards

Last night’s awards marked the charity’s 25th anniversary, set up two years after Diana died. The Diana Award is the only charitable organization that carries her name. “It’s a privilege to have the support of both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex, particularly as we mark our 25th anniversary year,” Tessy Ojo, CEO of the Diana Award, told People prior to last night’s event.

In his speech last night, William said of his mother “She taught me that everyone has the potential to give something back, that everyone in need deserves a supporting hand in life,” he said. “That legacy is something that both Catherine and I have sought to focus on through our work, as have the 50,000 young people who have received a Diana Award over the past 25 years.”

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry

Harry later added, via video, “My mum would be incredibly proud of all of the work that you’ve done,” he said. “I’m incredibly proud and thank you for doing everything that you do.” He added, “I’m sorry I can’t be there. I wish I could be there with you guys,” and acknowledged the late hour by adding, with a laugh, “Enjoy the rest of your evening if that’s what you plan to do,” he said. “Don’t get in too much trouble if you’re continuing to go on.”

Royal author Tom Quinn told The Mirror that the event was specially coordinated so that the brothers would have no interaction or overlap, even though one was in London and the other in California. “William and Harry just cannot bear to be in the same room together because they have said unforgivable things to each other, but they are also conscious that if they did attend the Diana event together, the world would be watching for the inevitable awkwardness, the inevitable coldness and refusal to look into each other’s eyes,” Quinn said.

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry

The brothers haven’t appeared in public together since greeting well-wishers outside Windsor Castle following Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s death in September 2022. “William and Harry just don’t want the headlines that would inevitably follow a meeting that showed anything less than a warm embrace, and a warm embrace is something they know they can’t do,” Quinn said. “Photographs of the two brothers looking awkward and cold, and avoiding each other’s eyes would look exactly like those terrible pictures of their parents in the runup to their split.”

Of the brother’s refusal to appear in the same space, even virtually—and Harry’s appearance coming only after William departed—is indicative of where their relationship continually stands: “The brothers’ reluctance to acknowledge each other’s presence at the event lays bare the depth of their feud, as before their falling out, they often appeared together in person to pose with the award winners,” The Daily Mail reports.

Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry
Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry

Paul Burrell, who worked with Diana up until her death, said that she would be “heartbroken,” adding that Harry was raised with the perception that he would always be William’s “wingman.”

“I saw firsthand Diana raise William and Harry, and it was always Harry’s duty and his job to be a wingman for his brother,” Burrell said, per The Daily Express. “He always knew that William would be King and Harry would be second in charge.” He added “If she was still alive, none of this would be happening because she would still have her hands on the reins and she would still be steering her children.”

Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry
Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward maintained that, if Diana were here, she would have forced William and Harry to put their feud aside for the award in her name. Last night’s arrangement “suits them both,” Seward told The Mirror. “They won’t have to speak to each other. They won’t even have to see each other, as Wills will have left before Harry’s video call. Wills has made sure he will be heading home along the M4 motorway before Harry has had time to blink into his video camera.”

She continued “It is carefully timed so they don’t have the embarrassment of even having to acknowledge each other, yet they are both honoring the award and their mother’s continuing legacy. The timing confirms their continued animosity. William has no wish to confront his brother on a video screen. It would take the attention away from the point of the evening. It probably will, anyway, such is the interest in their continuing rift.”

Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry
Princess Diana, Prince William, and Prince Harry

Of the feud between the two, “It is not a situation Diana would have liked,” said Seward, who, in addition to writing a number of royal biographies, is the editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine. “She would have put all her considerable energy into preventing their brotherly feud from reaching this stage of animosity and becoming more difficult to mend the longer it went on. And if she failed, I think she would have insisted that they come together, however briefly, by speaking over the video link in order to celebrate the winners of the prize organized in her name. She would understand that, once again, it will be the animosity between the brothers that grabs the media’s attention rather than the celebrated young winners. Someday, Wills and Harry are going to have to confront one another. What a perfect opportunity this would have been to speak about their mother, secure in the knowledge that they were 5,000 miles apart.”

Prince William and Prince Harry
Prince William and Prince Harry