Prince Harry and Prince William walked side by side at the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
The decision was not a publicity stunt, according to King Charles’ former butler Grant Harrold.
Harrold said the brothers showed they were “one family” ahead of the funeral.
Grant Harrold, a former butler to King Charles, spoke to Insider about Prince Harry’s relationship with the Royal Family following the Queen’s funeral.
Harry and William walked side by side in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession on Monday. It was a contrasting picture with Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, where their cousin Peter Phillips stood between the brothers.
It’s unclear whether the brothers have reconciled following reports of a rift that dates back to 2018. The Guardian reports that William and Harry made no eye contact and kept a physical distance from each other. the other during the funeral.
Harrold was employed by the Royal Household from 2004 to 2011 and worked closely with Charles, Harry and William. He said he didn’t believe Harry and William’s joint appearance would have been a publicity stunt, but rather a decision that came naturally.
“Things don’t just happen. They’re always planned. But I don’t think it was intentionally planned,” Harrold said.
Harrold said the brothers already showed they were “a close family” when they walked with their wives to Windsor Castle to pay their respects to the Queen days after her death.
“It might be short-lived, but the Queen’s death has brought them closer,” Harrold said.
William has invited Meghan Markle and Harry to join them for the walk, a Kensington Palace spokesperson previously told The Times of London.
“The Prince of Wales thought this was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family,” the spokesperson said, according to The Times.
Harrold added that Harry’s relationship with the King could also improve. The monarch mentioned his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas” in his first speech as king on September 9.
“The fact that Charles said that was him holding out an olive branch,” Harrold said.
“He acknowledged their new life in California, but made it clear that they were part of the family. It was his first major statement as king, and he made it clear that even though people don’t like Meghan, she part of the family,” he added.
Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and representatives for the Duke of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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