During Wills and Harry’s royal rift, one person in particular was hit hard

Celebrity life

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It might be the most famous roast chicken in history.

 

It was way back in late 2017 and a couple of young love birds were roasting an (let’s assume) organic chook, the delectable smell wafting through their tiny cottage. Then he, a red-haired larrikin, popped the question to his smart, talented girlfriend. Then they got married and found their faces on one million tea towels.

 

But lost in among all the romance and cockle-warming bliss of last year’s royal wedding is the fact that when Harry got down on bended knee, he was profoundly altering his relationship with another woman he loved: Kate.

 

 

Harry and Kate always seemed to share a special bond. Picture Andrew Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty Images

 

Harry and Kate always seemed to share a special bond. Picture Andrew Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

Ever since Prince William carted their mother’s 12-carat sapphire and diamond ring to Africa in 2010 and finally asked Kate to marry him, Prince Harry has been the couple’s charming third wheel. (At the time, he famously joked that he had always wanted a sister and was now getting one.)

 

Before Harry met Meghan, they were like three tweed-loving musketeers and at official events, Christmas jaunts to church at Sandringham and charity dos, there he was, an impish, cheeky figure, making Kate laugh and William giggle.

 

 

For years, the trio seemed to go everywhere together. Here they are at the Epsom Derby way back in 2011. Picture: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

 

For years, the trio seemed to go everywhere together. Here they are at the Epsom Derby way back in 2011. Picture: Matthew Lloyd/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

 

And looking happy at a function at Windsor Castle in May 2012. Picture: John Stillwell/ WPA Pool/Getty Images

 

And looking happy at a function at Windsor Castle in May 2012. Picture: John Stillwell/ WPA Pool/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

In fact, spend any time looking at archival photos of the Windsor youngsters from the past decade or so and you will find shot after shot of Kate, a lovely shiny slice of high-street glamour sandwiched between two dudes in blazers or uniforms.

 

Such was the trio’s level of closeness, they even set up a charity together, Heads Together, aimed at starting a conversation about mental health.

 

And then, Harry went on a blind date, was bowled over, bought the Suits box sets, and the rest of the story is now a sappy Hallmark movie.

 

 

Adding a fourth to their number was always going to change things, and when friends get married the dynamic always changes between close mates.

 

But so much more has happened in the past year.

 

 

Harry was famous for cracking up Kate at even the most formal of occasions like on the balcony during Trooping the Colour in 2014. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

 

Harry was famous for cracking up Kate at even the most formal of occasions like on the balcony during Trooping the Colour in 2014. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

 

What did he say to her? Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

 

What did he say to her? Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

It has been impossible to avoid the myriad headlines about how Harry and Wills’ relationship had been as frosty as a forgotten Paddle Pop in the back of the freezer since Meghan and Harry’s wedding in 2018.

 

Reports suggested an alleged rift between Meghan and Kate was the cause of tensions between the couples but then focus shifted to the brothers themselves.

 

According to various reports, the brothers fell out over Wills’ alleged concerns about Meghan’s suitability as a royal bride. (I’m not sure why: She looks cracking in a hat and can clearly make it through a dinner with Prince Philip.)

 

Harry allegedly got in a huff, threw his favourite beanie and beard brush in his rucksack and stomped out of the Cambridges’ lives.

 

Lost in among the deluge of coverage about the brothers’ tattered relationship is how the past year must have affected Kate.

 

 

Prince Harry was like a charming third wheel. Picture: John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

 

Prince Harry was like a charming third wheel. Picture: John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

 

It was never going to easy when three became four. Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty Images

 

It was never going to easy when three became four. Picture: Stephen Pond/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

Gone was her erstwhile friend who understood the strictures and stresses of royal life.

 

Similarly, for Harry, a man who according to royal biographer Katie Nicholl struggled with loneliness throughout his late 20s and early 30s, gone was his sister-in-law’s steadfast love and support.

 

Kate gave him a loyal, supportive female presence as his personal life spluttered along. (Remember, he’s had three serious girlfriends in the past eight years plus quite a few brief romantic interludes too. It has been quite the rollercoaster ride.)

 

For both of them, the loss of their close ties and their emotional connection must have been felt keenly in the past 12 months.

 

 

Together again last week at the Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

 

Together again last week at the Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. Picture: Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

 

 

Which is why new reports should put a smile on your face: the Wales boys have patched things up by all accounts. Wills and Kate are said to have popped around for a cheeky scone and stickybeak around Frogmore Cottage after last week’s Easter Service.

 

It might not be a coincidence then that only days later, Kate and Harry were back together, the duo fronting the Anzac Day service at Westminster Abbey, the pair amiably chuckling as they made their way inside. The photos are striking: It is the happiest she has looked in a while.

 

Two might be company but when it comes to the Windsors, three is a very nice crowd indeed.

 

 

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