DAN WOOTTON writes an open letter to Prince William

0

Dear William,

Sometimes you have to accept that you can only do so much for a brother or sister.

For twenty years, after those tragic events in 1997, you were a rock to your brother – the only other human he could fully open up and trust.

Your father was often absent and distant. Given the deep-seated bitterness you and Harry both feel about the way Charles treated your mother, the paternal relationship was understandably strained for years.

As a result, you often took on the combined roles of Harry’s surrogate father, chief of staff, and best friend.

It hasn’t always been easy. Especially since scandal followed scandal for your brother – the drugs, the Nazi uniform, the drunken altercations, the racist language in the military and the Las Vegas strip poker incident.

But you always kept the faith, with calm and wise advice behind the scenes, begging harder members of your family to give Harry the opportunity to grow up while you made mistakes.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles after Princess Diana's funeral at Westminster Abbey in September 1997

Prince William, Prince Harry and Prince Charles after Princess Diana’s funeral at Westminster Abbey in September 1997

The Duke of Cambridge (left) and his brother Prince Harry at the opening of the Greenhouse Center in London in April 2018

The Duke of Cambridge (left) and his brother Prince Harry at the opening of the Greenhouse Center in London in April 2018

The Duke of Cambridge (left) and his brother Prince Harry at the opening of the Greenhouse Center in London in April 2018

It was you who convinced Harry to seek professional help in dealing with his mental health problems sparked by Diana’s death. He first saw a counselor after you reassured him by saying, “Look, you really have to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you. ‘

When your wife Kate came on the scene, she immediately bonded with your brother and became a trusted companion and then a colleague at work.

Your bold and brave charity initiatives as a trio have revived a tired and fading monarchy and given much-needed hope that young people would maintain the faith with the Crown.

In that context, it is perfectly understandable that when an American actress striving for fame and power came on the scene and stole your brother’s heart, you asked some tough questions about the courtship.

No one with any feeling blames you for gently wondering if Harry should take a moment before marrying someone who was so apparently willing to give up her career and life in the US in order to join the British Royal Family .

Many of your early fears have come true tragically.

Your guidance that encouraged Harry to take it slow and not make decisions hastily was rooted in love and concern, and certainly had nothing to do with racism.

Despite these initial skirmishes, you put that nagging feeling in the back of your mind that something was wrong with your brother’s new partner and prioritized making Meghan feel welcome in the dysfunctional and strange royal family.

Prince William has ended two decades of friendship with ITV News presenter Tom Bradby, in the photo greeting the Duke and Kate Middleton after they announced their engagement in November 2010.

Prince William has ended two decades of friendship with ITV News presenter Tom Bradby, in the photo greeting the Duke and Kate Middleton after they announced their engagement in November 2010.

Prince William has ended two decades of friendship with ITV News presenter Tom Bradby, in the photo greeting the Duke and Kate Middleton after they announced their engagement in November 2010.

Bradby staged an ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019, which Harry used to publicly confirm a feud with his brother

Bradby staged an ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019, which Harry used to publicly confirm a feud with his brother

Bradby staged an ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019, which Harry used to publicly confirm a feud with his brother

Bradby's ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019 saw Meghan Markle also tell him: 'Not many people have asked if I'm okay'

Bradby's ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019 saw Meghan Markle also tell him: 'Not many people have asked if I'm okay'

Bradby’s ITV documentary in South Africa in 2019 saw Meghan Markle also tell him: ‘Not many people have asked if I’m okay’

She was invited to spend Christmas with you and Kate at your Anmer Hall residence in Norfolk, a decision you supported, even if it was against royal protocol.

Discussions soon arose about Meghan taking a lead role in your beloved Royal Foundation – the Fab Four was born.

But no matter how hard you and Kate tried, it quickly became apparent that Meghan hadn’t moved to London to quietly come into life as a community-minded royal family.

I remember from my reporting at the time that Kate was not happy with the way Meghan spoke to the Kensington Palace staff. Your wife rightly raised the matter and it caused tension.

The infamous bridesmaid dress and Meghan’s failure to accept Kate’s apology for what did or did not happen made matters worse.

You were also drawn into the sensitive row over which items from the Royal Collection – including tiaras worn by your mother – would be loaned to Meghan.

Ultimately, after discussions with Angela Kelly, the Queen’s dresser, it was up to your grandmother to make the tough call to Prince Harry that made it clear that given the royal pecking order, Meghan couldn’t always get what she wanted.

But the damage was done.

You and Kate had tried everything, but essentially Harry and Meghan had made a decision that they didn’t want to be on your side. Their story as victims of the system was firmly in their heads.

Prince Harry and Prince William after the traditional Christmas Day divine service at Sandringham, Norfolk in 2013

Prince Harry and Prince William after the traditional Christmas Day divine service at Sandringham, Norfolk in 2013

Prince Harry and Prince William after the traditional Christmas Day divine service at Sandringham, Norfolk in 2013

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games competition in London in September 2014

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games competition in London in September 2014

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games competition in London in September 2014

They got more and more angry that you wouldn’t support them in small battles with the media. Fittingly, your advisers embarked on the long and sensitive journey of preparing you to become king, and did not think your public input would be helpful.

The last straw for you came with the way Harry and Meghan behaved about the Megxit debacle.

You’re right to think it’s unforgivable that they tried twice to publicly persuade your grandmother – now 94 – to comply with their ridiculous demands.

The phone calls largely stopped, Harry and Meghan left the country and there are still very open wounds.

Before that despicable Oprah Winfrey interview, in which they accused your family of racism, you had hoped things could be resolved privately over time. The Windsor way, you could say.

There was the possibility of a fruitful reunion to unveil the highly anticipated statue of your late mother later this year.

But unfortunately, it has now reached the point where you can no longer trust your brother or his wife, thanks in large part to their constant manipulation of the US media.

Private conversations with family members have been twisted and dissected twice for American TV personalities Oprah and Gayle King, both friends of Meghan.

You have rightly ended your two-decade friendship with ITV News presenter Tom Bradby, who you believe took sides by becoming a media mouthpiece for Harry and Meghan.

The Sussexes have declared war and are not trying to initiate any kind of healthy discussion.

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arrive to attend the Christmas Day divine service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, in December 2018

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arrive to attend the Christmas Day divine service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, in December 2018

The Duke of Cambridge, the Duchess of Cambridge, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duke of Sussex arrive to attend the Christmas Day divine service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk, in December 2018

The Royal Family will leave Westminster Abbey after the Commonwealth Day Service in March 2020

The Royal Family will leave Westminster Abbey after the Commonwealth Day Service in March 2020

The Royal Family will leave Westminster Abbey after the Commonwealth Day Service in March 2020

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview that first aired March 7

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview that first aired March 7

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak to Oprah Winfrey in their bombshell tell-all interview that first aired March 7

History will show that the problem was with Meghan, not you. She’s arguing with most of her close relatives – including her father and half-sister – and there were no old friends on the guest list for her wedding.

Her friends are now in show business. They are ready to exploit it for their own gain, be it by getting TV interviews or by promoting divisive identity politics.

You, on the other hand, become king. Your priority is to keep the monarchy popular, not giving in to your brother’s furious tantrums and delusions.

Bowing down to Harry and Meghan is no longer the right thing to do and so you were right to publicly declare at the earliest available opportunity that ‘we are not a racist family’.

Many of Harry’s old friends I have spoken to are convinced he will come back to you and Britain, but it will take some time to work out the mistakes he made and how he let you down left.

Until then, there is nothing you can do. Harry knows that you love him and that you will do anything for him when he is in serious trouble.

It is painful. But the time has come to stop appeasing your brother. He will soon learn millions of dollars, and a California mansion cannot be compared to the unconditional and unshakable love of your kinsmen.