Prince Harry and Prince William walked side by side at the Queen’s funeral on Monday.
Former King Charles butler Grant Harrold said the decision was not a PR stunt.
Harrold said the brothers showed they were “a united family” leading up to the funeral.
Grant Harrold, a former butler to King Charles, spoke to Insider about Prince Harry’s relationship with the royal family after the Queen’s funeral.
Harry and William walked side by side in the funeral procession for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday. It was a contrast to Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, where their cousin Peter Phillips stood between the brothers.
It’s unclear if the brothers reconciled after reports of a rift dating back to 2018. The Guardian reports that William and Harry didn’t make eye contact and kept physical distance from each other during the funeral.
Harrold was employed by the royal household from 2004 to 2011, working closely with Charles, Harry and William. He said he doesn’t believe Harry and William’s joint performance would have been a PR stunt, but rather a decision made naturally.
“Things don’t just happen. They’re always planned. But I don’t think this was intentionally planned,” Harrold said.
Harrold said the brothers had previously shown that they were “a united family” when they took their wives for a walk in Windsor Castle a few days after her death to watch tributes to the Queen.
“It may be short-lived, but the Queen’s death brought them together,” Harrold said.
William invited Meghan Markle and Harry to the walkabout, a Kensington Palace spokesman previously told The Times of London.
“The Prince of Wales thought it was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family,” the spokesman told The Times.
Harrold added that Harry’s relationship with the king could also improve. The monarch mentioned his “love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives abroad” in his maiden speech as king on Sept. 9.
“The fact that Charles said that, it was he who stuck out an olive branch,” Harrol said.
“He acknowledged their new life in California but made it clear that they are part of the family. This was his first big statement as king, and he made it clear that even if people don’t like Meghan, she’s part of the family,” he added.
Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace and representatives of the Duke of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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