While it took some time for Prince Harry to marry, his brother Prince William met his future wife a lot earlier. Indeed, Kate Middleton has been an important part of the royal family for several years. But as well as being William’s spouse, mother of a potential future king and the Duchess of Cambridge, she is also just like a big sister to her brother-in-law, Harry – for one very special reason.
William is the eldest son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. He came into the world at St. Mary’s Hospital in London in June 1982. And it was at the very same hospital that Diana gave birth to their second child Harry two years later.
Over the years, William and Harry have been close. And the brothers were united in grief when their mother Diana died in a car crash in August 1997 at the age of 36. The shocking incident occurred just two weeks before Harry’s 13th birthday, while William was just 15 at the time.
Harry and William walked behind their mother Diana’s coffin at her funeral. Indeed, the experience clearly had a huge impact on a young Harry. “My mother had just died, and I had to walk a long way behind her coffin, surrounded by thousands of people watching me while millions more did on television,” he said to Newsweek in 2017.
Harry continued to recount that tragic day in 1997. “I don’t think any child should be asked to do that, under any circumstances. I don’t think it would happen today.” And the prince continued to struggle with the loss of his mother as the years ticked by.
Harry told The Telegraph in 2017 that he had two years of “total chaos.” He added that he even came “very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions.” However, his brother William and others encouraged him to get professional help.
And at the age of 28, Harry sought help. According to The Telegraph, he revealed that his brother and friends had told him, “Look, you really need to deal with this. It is not normal to think that nothing has affected you.”
“My mother died when I was very young,” Harry told Newsweek. “I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, but I eventually pulled my head out of the sand, started listening to people and decided to use my role for good. I am now fired up and energized and love charity stuff, meeting people and making them laugh.”
Harry also found another healthy way to get out his anger – through sport. “During those years I took up boxing, because everyone was saying boxing is good for you and it’s a really good way of letting out aggression,” he told The Telegraph. “And that really saved me because I was on the verge of punching someone, so being able to punch someone who had pads was certainly easier.”
Harry admits that he hasn’t entirely changed. But his outlook on life is a lot more positive. “I sometimes still feel I am living in a goldfish bowl, but I now manage it better,” the prince told Newsweek. “I still have a naughty streak too, which I enjoy and [it] is how I relate to those individuals who have got themselves into trouble.”
Meanwhile, as Harry and William got older, it became apparent that they had some mutual interests. Indeed, they are both lovers of sport and passionate about the humanitarian work that they do. And they’ve both served their country, with Harry part of the Army Air Corps and William working as a pilot for the RAF Search and Rescue Force.
However, Harry and William also have their differences. The former is considered to be the rebel in the family and is often thought of as cheeky and fun-loving. Meanwhile, his brother William is more stoic and well-mannered, signalling perhaps that he is aware of his potential future role as the King of England.
In fact, while William has never weathered any major scandals, Harry has been in hot water on several occasions. He was sent to a rehab facility after Charles caught him smoking cannabis and once courted controversy by dressing as a Nazi. And in 2012 the prince was photographed naked at a Las Vegas party.
By contrast, William has grown up knowing that in all likelihood he would one day be crowned king. Indeed, since birth, he has been second in line to the throne, with only his father Prince Charles preceding him. This means that William is typically more guarded and careful about his behavior.
In 2001 William began studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. And it was during his first year that he met fellow student Kate Middleton, who like him was staying in St. Salvator’s Hall. However, the couple didn’t start a relationship until 2003.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear exactly when Harry was introduced to William’s then-girlfriend Kate. Indeed, the couple kept their romance out of the public eye for years. They would even leave the house at different times, never publicly hold hands and arrive separately at dinner parties, according to Vanity Fair.
But William and Kate – who briefly separated in 2007 before getting back together – adjusted to life in the spotlight after getting engaged. Indeed, the prince popped the question in October 2010 during a trip to Kenya. And when it came to their wedding, Harry played a major role.
William asked his little brother Harry to be his best man on the big day. And that also meant that he was in charge of the bachelor party that apparently took place in Devon, as well as a speech at the reception. According to reports, Harry teased William about his hair loss and even imitated the bride and groom.
It was on April 29, 2011, that William and Kate married at Westminster Abbey and were named the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. And after Kate officially became part of the monarchy, she joined William and Harry in their many charity ventures. Indeed, the following year, the trio launched the Royal Foundation.
And Harry explained that it was important for himself, William and his Kate to modernize the monarchy. “We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people,” he told Newsweek. “Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
Harry also revealed that he wants to “make something of my life” while he has the chance. “I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he said. “The monarchy is a force for good, and we want to carry on the positive atmosphere that the queen has achieved for over 60 years, but we won’t be trying to fill her boots.”
However, the royals are also trying to continue with Princess Diana’s work. “I intuitively know what my mother would like me to do and want to progress with work she couldn’t complete,” Harry told Newsweek. “She had the most wonderful sense of humor and always wanted to make things fun for us, as well as protect us.”
And while William met Kate at university, Harry was not so lucky in love. The prince had had relationships with women including Chelsy Davy and Cressida Bonas, but they came to an end. Then in 2016 everything changed when he was set up on a blind date with American actress Meghan Markle.
Finally, in November 2017 the official announcement came that Harry and Meghan were engaged. At the time, the couple were living in the two-bedroom Nottingham Cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace, where William and Kate reside with their three children, Princes George and Louis and Princess Charlotte. And in their accompanying engagement interview, they discussed Meghan getting to know the family.
Harry and Meghan were asked about when she met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. “It was exciting,” Harry responded to Hello! magazine. “I’d been seeing her for a period of time when I literally didn’t tell anybody at all.” He explained that after he told his brother and sister-in-law about Meghan, they couldn’t wait to be introduced to her.
“William was longing to meet her and so was Catherine, so you know being our neighbors we managed to get that in a couple of – well, quite a few times now,” Harry added. He added that Kate had been “amazing, as has William as well.” And Meghan agreed that Harry’s sister-in-law had been “wonderful” to her.
Unsurprisingly, Harry picked William to be his best man. The Telegraph reported that the elder prince remarked being “thrilled and delighted” to be asked and was “looking forward” to taking on the role. Then, he hinted that he planned to get his own back on his brother, adding, “Revenge is sweet.”
In a break from protocol, Meghan spent Christmas 2017 at Sandringham with the royals before she married Harry. And afterwards, Harry told BBC Radio Four that his future wife had “done an absolutely amazing job.” He added, “She’s getting in there and it’s the family I suppose that she’s never had.”
Meanwhile, Harry’s comments came under fire, with Meghan’s dad Thomas saying he was left “extremely hurt.” The duchess is close to her mother, Doria Ragland, and used to have a positive relationship with her father too. In fact, Thomas was supposed to walk her down the aisle when she married Harry.
However, Thomas couldn’t make the wedding due to medical reasons. And he is reportedly no longer in touch with his daughter. Actually, Meghan’s mother was the only member of her immediate family to be at the nuptials, which were held at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May 2018. So Prince Charles walked her down the aisle in place of her own father.
Indeed, Meghan has been embraced into the family, as was Kate before her. And Harry in particular grew close to William’s wife. So what do we know about the extent of their relationship? Well, according to Newsweek, he called Kate “the sister he never had” when she got engaged to William.
After spending nearly a year following Harry, Newsweek gave readers an insight into Harry and Kate’s bond. Interestingly, the publication claimed that the latter became someone he could “lean on.” And it appears that Kate may have helped to take on that role for her brother-in-law.
In fact, the Duke of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge may be closer than many people realize. Harry visited Kate and William’s apartment at Kensington Palace regularly before he got engaged to Meghan, according to Newsweek. There, she would cook him meals – including one of his favorite dishes: roast chicken.
And it seems that Harry also has fun with his sister-in-law. Indeed, one of the royal Christmas traditions is that they give each other gag gifts in lieu of expensive presents. And according to reports, Kate once bought Harry a Grow Your Own Girlfriend kit to tease him about his single status.
So it makes sense that it was important for the Duke of Sussex to introduce Meghan to his sister-in-law. “Harry and Kate are very close, she’s been like a mentor to him and he wanted her seal of approval,” a source claimed to Grazia in 2018. “Kate is different to Meghan in many ways, but she has made great strides to help Meghan settle in.”
In 2018 Meghan accompanied Kate to watch a tennis match at Wimbledon. And a body language expert revealed the duchesses close relationship. “Harry has always been keen to make his sister-in-law relax and giggle more in public and it looked very much as though the confident and slightly more spontaneous Meghan might be taking on that role of her own accord,” Judi James told InStyle.
Of course, Harry also has another position in Kate and William’s life. Indeed, he is uncle to their children: George, Charlotte and Louis. And it doesn’t matter to him that he is now further away from the throne. “The reason I am now fifth [in line] is because of my nephew and niece and I could never wish them away,” Harry told the Daily Mail in 2017. “They are the most amazing things ever.”
And after George entered the world, Harry revealed his goals as an uncle. “To make sure he has a good upbringing, and keep him out of harm’s way and to make sure he has fun. The rest I’ll leave to the parents,” he declared to the BBC.
Now, it’s Kate and William’s turn to return the favor. That’s because they will soon be taking on the job of being aunt and uncle to Harry and Meghan’s child. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in October 2018 that they are expecting their first child in the spring 2019. Meghan then later revealed that she is due in late April or early May.
Kate also revealed that she is “absolutely” excited for the new arrival. During a visit to Leicester in 2018, a royal fan asked the Duchess of Cambridge how she feels about the news. Cosmopolitan reported her as saying, “It’s such a special time to have all the kiddies and a cousin for George and Charlotte, as well as Louis, so it’ll be really special.”