The brother’s estrangement reportedly began when William questioned whether Harry was rushing into marrying Meghan.
Simultaneously, Kate and Meghan’s relationship became strained over the way the Duchess of Sussex spoke to Kensington Palace staff.
“They’ll always love each other as brothers, but right now things have never been so bad. William feels betrayed and let down by Harry. Harry feels like William and Kate never gave Meghan a chance,” says the insider.
Apparently Harry and Meghan believe palace courtiers at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House have been leaking stories about their difficult and diva-like behaviour, causing more tension between them and Prince Charles.
Meanwhile, People magazine reports that Harry and Meghan believed they had no other option but to go public with their so-called ‘abdication’.
“This is not how they wanted to handle this, but Meghan and Harry’s hand was forced,” a friend told the publication. “There is so much bad blood in that family – it’s toxic.”
They added: “If relationships had been better, things would have been different.”
A source told Us Weekly that Meghan had been unprepared for the “drama and backstabbing” behind palace doors.
Harry, William and Charles gathered at Sandringham House with the Queen last week in a bid to work out an exit plan for the Sussexes.
Harry arrived two hours ahead of the family meeting to ensure he could have a private meeting with his grandmother and explain the reasons for his and Meghan’s withdrawal from senior royal life.
In the subsequent two-hour meeting – described as “calm” – alongside Prince Charles and Prince William, Harry was effectively told by his father that he would have to make his own way financially.
The king-in-waiting explained how he doesn’t have ‘unlimited resources’ to prop up Harry and Meghan’s lifestyle. He also warned Harry there would be strict rules limiting their commercial activities so they weren’t seen to be cashing in on their royal titles.
Meghan, who had flown back to Vancouver days earlier, was not present. A Kensington Palace spokesman denied claims she was shut out of the discussion, explaining that, “In the end, the Sussexes decided that it wasn’t necessary for the duchess to join”.
In the aftermath of the summit, the Queen released a statement in which she expressed her sadness, but understanding, for Meghan and Harry's move.
Solutions for handling the couple’s security needs, finances, patronages and royal duties are now in the works.
But despite the Queen stating she was “entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life”, royal expert Phil Dampier tells New Idea that privately she will be far from happy.
“She will be devastated by this crisis, which is the last thing she needs at nearly 94!”