Many may have got it wrong on William and Harry - GulfToday

Many may have got it wrong on William and Harry

Prince William and Prince Harry.

Princes William and Harry

Victoria Richards, The Independent

Watching Prince William and Harry coming together to unveil the statue of their mother, Princess Diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday, made it feel (and look) as though the past year or so had never happened.

All eyes were on the two brothers, eagerly trying to detect whispers of acrimony or bad blood, a little like you might watch Game of Thrones, or a Shakespearean play, to see who might be trying to knife whom in the back. But what the moment showed was: move along, there really isn’t anything to see here.

So little visible tension was there, in fact, that if you’d come for power grabs and scathing stares, awkward silences or heated debates – perhaps fight outside of the Sunken Garden, one of Diana’s favourite spots in Kensington Palace and the setting for the new statue – you would have been left disappointed.

Instead, those watching simply saw two men, older and more ruffled (and with a little less hair) than the time they were pictured solemn and united in grief at her funeral in 1997. Still grieving, but very much still brothers.

Very much still enjoying each other’s company, too, by the look of things: the pair arrived smiling, and if you listened closely, you could even hear Harry giggle in his trademark way as they walked down the steps together to greet well-wishers and unveil the new artwork.

There was no hint of any of the rumours that the duo haven’t spoken since Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, did a much-discussed interview with Oprah in March. Harry did say at the time that his relationship with William was one of “space at the moment”, but added: “As I’ve said before, I love William to bits. He’s my brother. We’ve been through hell together. We have a shared experience, but we were on different paths.”

He also said “time heals all things, hopefully” – and that’s, seemingly, exactly what the past three months have done. It also proves many of us wrong: the pair can be warmly reunited, they will put their differences aside (if they even had them in the first place), blood is thicker than water. We should have been in little doubt anyway, after the two were seen chatting at Prince Philip’s funeral in April.

Because that’s the thing about siblings – except for those rare instances when there’s an unalterable split or estrangement, it’s the only kind of relationship in which you can fight and argue, spit fire (then make up) without it leaving lasting damage. A unique and precious partnership forged so strongly in childhood (and if you grew up in a family of multiple children, then you’ll understand) that it’s virtually impossible to break that bond.

There isn’t anyone but my brother I could call a “d***” on WhatsApp in a heated debate one minute; then laugh about my mum and dad with the next – without even a pause. Bad blood simply doesn’t stick. It all comes out in the wash: it has to. After all, nobody else “gets” the weirdness of your family like your sibling; and you’re stuck with them for life. The same goes for William and Harry – royals or not.

On Thursday, the princes released a joint statement, saying: “Today, on what would have been our mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.”

That’s what we all saw when they unveiled the Diana statue: love, strength and character – for their mother and for each other. Isn’t it time for us to stop expecting otherwise?

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