While Prince William was waving a white flag, his brother chose to look the other way, a new book claims.
According to Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown author Valentine Low, the heir to the throne, 40, once reached out to Prince Harry, 38 — as he feared his younger brother was in "crisis" — but the red-headed royal backed out of the meeting.
William allegedly messaged Harry asking if they could speak following the father-of-two and wife Meghan Markle's explosive interview while on tour in South Africa in 2019.
The royal expert claimed Harry was in favor of meeting, but became hesitant when his estranged brother mentioned his private secretary would be aware of the face-to-face conversation, as there were reportedly scheduling conflicts.
Harry was so fearful that their planned talk would be leaked to the press by William's camp that he told his brother to cancel the meeting, it was reported in the book.
Though William and Harry had been at odds long before the couple's jaw-dropping interview, their comments drew a further wedge in the brothers' relationship. During the interview in question, Harry confirmed the siblings were estranged, telling Tom Bradby at the time: "We are certainly on different paths at the moment, but I will always be there for him, as I know he will always be there for me."
Turning to Meghan to ask if she was OK amid the royal family's rift, the actress, 41, replied to Tom, "Thank you for asking, because not many people have asked if I’m OK."
The interview took headlines by storm, overshadowing the Prince and Princess of Wales' simultaneous trip to Pakistan. Valentine claimed William and Kate Middleton saw the interview as a "deliberate attempt to knock [them] out of the headlines," which only heightened tension between the couples.
Harry and Meghan announced months after the incident that they would be stepping back from their duties as senior working members of the royal family. After spending weeks in Canada in the winter of 2020, they moved to Montecito, Calif., with their son, Archie, 3.
Despite William's failed attempt at putting the drama to bed, OK! reported Meghan requested a private chat with Harry's father to clear the air before they returned to the U.S. following Her Majesty's funeral. However, it seems they were unable to find the time before the couple flew back home to their Hollywood lives, leaving relationships on the rocks for the foreseeable future.