Why Prince Harry Was His Brother's 'Secret Weapon'

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's unexpected decision to ditch their roles as senior royals has not only forced the queen to address their exit — or Megxit — plan, but it has also drastically changed the future for Prince William, who now has to cope with his responsibilities without his younger brother. That's a predicament no one expected.

"Courtiers imagined in the future that Harry would be shoulder-to-shoulder with William when he was King," Penny Junor, author of Prince Harry: Brother, Soldier, Son, told People. She explained that Harry was expected to support his brother when William took over the throne from his father, Prince Charles, who is set to inherit it from his mother, Queen Elizabeth. "[Harry] would pick up the bits that William wouldn't be as good for. They would be [complementary] and side-by-side throughout their lives."

"That was a lovely picture," Junor said. "Harry was the secret weapon, really."

Instead of serving as his brother's secret weapon, Prince Harry has now come under attack and arguably put his brother in the middle of the fray. 

Prince William denies 'bullying' his brother

The nature of Prince William's relationship with his brother, Prince Harry, has changed over the years. That seems natural, to some degree, but rumors abound that William's overbearing attitude allegedly drove the Duke and Duchess of Sussex away. 

The Times reported that the "Duke and Duchess of Sussex regard themselves as having been pushed away from the royal family by the 'bullying' attitude of his brother the Duke of Cambridge." The report claims "the Sussexes want to step away from their royal role after two years of 'constantly being told their place.'"

Prince William and Prince Harry vehemently denied those claims in a rare joint statement: "For brothers who care so deeply about the issues surrounding mental health, the use of inflammatory language in this way is offensive and potentially harmful."

William seemed to address the situation again during an appearance on Jan. 15, 2020. "It's sometimes trying to get people to understand that it's OK to have these challenges," he said (via Us Weekly.) "We just need to deal with them and we need to move forward rather than just be stuck in paralysis and pretend they don't happen." Despite all the scuttlebutt, it sounds like these two would rather be brothers in arms than enemies.