Royal expert Katie Nicholl told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday that after Harry, 36, and Meghan Markle’s bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, the 38-year-old Duke of Cambridge allegedly came away bothered by Harry’s remarks.
“We’re hearing reports that Prince William felt quite affronted by the claims that Harry made in the interview, not only to the suggestion of racism within the royal family.. …We’ve also heard through friends of William who have spoken to the newspapers over here that he really rejects that suggestion from his brother that he feels ‘trapped’ by the firm, that he feels trapped by his future role,” Nicholl told the outlet.
William — who is the eldest child of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles — is second in line to the British royal throne.
“If you speak to the sources close to William, they say this is very much not the case,” Nicholl added. “He’s very willing to embrace his destiny as a future king, and he’s very happy to step up to his responsibilities.”
Earlier this month, Harry and Markle’s revealing sit-down permeated the airwaves stateside and abroad.
During the interview, Harry and Markle alleged racism within the palace and Harry voiced his displeasure with the restrictions placed on members of the royal family – which he acknowledges played a factor in his decision to step back from his duties as a senior-ranking member.
“My father and my brother, they are all trapped,” he said. “They don’t get to leave. And I have huge compassion for that.”
Despite the public schism amid their fallout with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the royal family released a statement following the interview, calling Markle’s racism claims “concerning.”
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the statement said. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
Speaking from a public relations stance, Nicholl believes there won’t be any more statements from the royal family regarding their ongoing fissure – at least in the short term – as anything that is said will be heavily scrutinized in the court of public opinion and in the eyes of the media across the world.
“Clearly we’re quite a ways off from seeing any healing of this rift, but certainly my understanding from the Cambridge camp is that if everything is going to be scrutinized and dissected in the media, then there’s really no chance of them moving on from this,” Nicholl relayed to the outlet.
“I think that you’re going to hear less and less about the current state of the relationship with the brothers for the simple reason that every time something is leaked to the media, it sets those peace talks back.”
Meanwhile, a statue of the late Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997, is set to be unveiled on July 1 on what would have been her 60th birthday. Nicholl said she expects the two brothers to bury the hatchet that day for the sake of their mother.
“It’s really important to the royal family, but I think particularly Prince William, that William and Harry are there shoulder by shoulder,” the insider maintained. “There is a lot of work, clearly, to be done for this relationship to repair. That building of trust is obviously very important.”
Fox News has reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment.